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*FK 16 1908 

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Copyrighted 1908, 



Charleston. W. Va. 


The greater part of the contents of this book was pub- 
lished, in instalments, in The Hotel World, of Chicago. 

A Foreword. 

My chief purpose in writing this book was to place 
a few guide-posts along the route of hotel housekeepers 
to warn them against certain errors common to women 
engaged in the arduous and difficult occupation of keep- 
ing house for hotels. 

If anything that I have set forth herein shall make the 
work of hotel housekeepers easier, more inviting, or more 
efficient, thereby contributing to the satisfaction of pro- 
prietors and to the comfort of patrons, I shall feel 
amply repaid for writing this book. 

Mary E. Palmer. 
Hotel Ruffner, 

Charleston, West Va. 
March 1, 1908. 

The Manager and the Help. 

The average hotel manager is only too prone to com- 
plain of the incompetency and the inefficiency of hotel 

It is true that it is difficult to secure skilled help, for 
there is no sort of institution that trains men and women 
for the different kinds of hotel work. Each hotel must 
train its own help, or obtain them from other hotels. 

Thus there is no uniform and generally accepted 
standard of excellence in the different departments of 

A good word should be said in behalf of the Irish- 
American girls, who constitute a majority of the laun- 
dry help, waitresses, and chamber-maids in American 
hotels to-day. 

With a high regard for honor and rectitude, handi- 
capped by poverty, they find employment, at a very 
early age, in hotels, and perform menial duties in a 
manner that is greatly to their credit. 

The Irish- American girls are not shiftless, remaining 
in one place for years until they either marry or leave 

8 Guide to 

to fill better positions, which is the privilege of every 
one living under the "Stars and Stripes." 

Some improve their spare time in study, thereby fit- 
ting themselves to become stenographers and bookkeep- 
ers. Some adopt the stage as a profession, one instance 
being that of Clara Morris, who takes delight in telling 
of the days when she washed silver in a hotel. 

An ex-Governor Peeled Potatoes. 

Ex-Governor Hoard, of Wisconsin, boasts of the time 
when he peeled potatoes in a hotel. 

The succees of hotel-keeping depends largely on the 
manager. He should possess patience, forbearance, and 
amiability. He should know that the best results are 
obtained from his help by kindness, and that good food 
and good beds mean better service. 

The manager should realize that the working force of 
a hotel is like the mechanism of a clock: it has to t>e 
wound occasionally and set going. No novice can op- 
erate this wonderful piece of mechanism; it requires a 
skilled mechanic. 

The proprietor of a hotel should be a good loser; for 
there are periods of the year when the employes outnum- 
ber the guests, and the balance-sheet shows a heavy 

One of the most successful hotel men of the writer's 
acquaintance is Mr. Ljouis Beibold, formerly of the 

' Hotel Housekeeping. 9 

Bates House (now the Claypool), Indianapolis, Ind. 
Mr. Reibold 's fame rests in his liberal, kindly treatment 
of his help. He never called them "help," but always 
referred to them as "employes." Reception, reading, 
and writing-rooms were furnished for their use, and he 
himself saw that good food was provided and that the 
tables were spread with clean, white table-cloths once a 

He remembered his employes at Christmas, each one 
receiving a gold coin, some as much as $20. 

When a girl in his employ lost her arm in a mangle, 
he presented her with a house and lot, provided her 
with ample means to furnish the house and to keep her 
the remainder of her lifetime. 

Mr. Riebold is a multi-millionaire, and he has the ad- 
miration and love of every woman and man that ever 
worked for him. 

10 Guide to 

Feeding and Rooming the Help. 

Employes, such as housekeepers, clerks, cashiers, sten- 
ographers, stewards — though few stewards use the priv- 
ilege — and bartenders, are permitted to take their meals 
in the main dining-room. 

Other office-employes take their meals in the officers' 
dining-room, from the same bill of fare used in the 
main dining-room. 

Chambermaids, bell-boys, and other "help," are 
served in the ' ' helps ' hall, ' ' from a separate bill of fare. 
Their food is good, as a rule; when it is not, the fault 
usually lies with the chef in the kitchen. All proprie- 
tors want their help to have good food. 

The housekeeper can do much to make the help com- 
fortable. She can see that their rooms are kept clean 
and sweet, and free from vermin. She can give them 
soft pillows and plenty of warm covering. It is her 
duty to add to their comfort in every way she can. 

In a majority of hotels, the help are roomed and fed 
equally as well as are the patrons. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 11 

Requirements of a Housekeeper. 

Every profession or trade is made up of two classes: 
the apprentice and the skilled workman. The young 
woman looking for a position as hotel housekeeper 
should not forget that careful training is fully as im- 
portant and necessary in her chosen vocation as it is 
in medicine or cooking ; that she must learn by slow and 
wearisome experience what it has taken years for the 
skilled housekeeper to acquire. 

The apprentice may stumble on the road to success 
and may even fall by the wayside. In order to succeed, 
she must give her time wholly to her occupation. She 
must be thankful for the successes that come to her and 
not fret over the failures, remembering that hotel house- 
keeping, like all other occupations, demands experience, 
patience, and perseverance, as well as skill, in its fol- 

The profession is overcrowded with novices to-day; 
they are the ones that have demoralized the profession — 
if the word, profession, may be applied to hotel house- 
keeping. The failure of many housekeepers is due to 

12 Guide to 

the lack of proper training; it is only the skilled house- 
keeper that wins lasting approval. 

A trained nurse must remain in a training school at 
least three years, possibly four, before she is given a 
certificate to care for the sick. The chef of the hotel 
kitchen, in all probability began his career as a scullion, 
serving at least ten years' apprenticeship in minor situ- 
ations in the kitchen. The housekeeper must not be 
above gaining knowledge in the laundry and the linen- 
en-room. A woman that is ambitious to become a good 
housekeeper should first serve as a chambermaid. If 
she is wise, she will secure the good graces of the linen- 
woman by offering to help her mend the linen, hem the 
napkins, sort the linen, and mend the curtains. 

In this way, a clever chambermaid may learn many 
useful things that will help her to a better position. 
From the linen-room, it is only a step to the position 
of a housekeeper. When a housekeeper leaves on her 
vacation, or is called away to fill another place, or drops 
out on account of illness, the linen-woman may seize 
the opportunity of showing her executive ability. After 
she has worked faithfully in the linen-room for three 
years, there is not much danger that a linen-woman of 
ability will fail to find employment as a housekeeper. 
If she should have any trouble getting a situation, one 
way out of the difficulty is to offer her services one 
month on probation to a hotel man in need of a house- 

Hotel Housekeeping. 13 

keeper; and, if she is granted a trial and mixes brains 
with her enthusiasm, she will receive a housekeeper's 
salary at the end of the month. 

Just what a housekeeper's work should be is a vital 
question. We hear of housekeepers meddling in the 
steward's department and with the affairs of the office. 
This is, at least, no less wrong than the idea that the 
housekeeper owes servile obedience to all other heads of 

The essential requirements of a housekeeper are the 
same, whether she is in a hotel with the capacity of a 
thousand guests or in a hotel of two hundred rooms. 
The young housekeeper, looking for a position in a first- 
class hotel, should read the following requirements, 
whi,ch were submitted to the writer by the manager of 
a first-class Western hotel a few years ago: 

A Housekeeper's Requirements. 

Must be morally correct. 

Must have a dignified and respectable appearance. 
Must have executive ability. 

Must have a good disposition and try to get along with 
the help. 

Must be a good listener and not a talker. 

Must be quiet, giving orders in a firm but low tone. 

Must be loyal to the management. 

Must be courteous to guests. 

14 Guide to 

Must not worry the management with small matters. 

Must refrain from gossiping. 

Neatness in dress is essential to the success of a hotel 
housekeeper. She should take great pains to be always 
well groomed, and neat in her attire. If she finds her- 
self growing coarse or commonplace-looking, her finger- 
nails in mourning, and her hair unacquainted with soap 
and water, she should at once set about to remedy the 
defects. It is her duty, as well as her privilege, to dress 
as well as she can, not by donning all the colors of the 
rainbow or by useless extravagance, but by modest and 
harmonizing shades and by appropriate apparel. It be- 
hooves the woman to make herself as good-looking as 
possible, for good looks pay. Obliging manners are also 
a stock in trade. Grit, grace, and good looks can accom- 
plish wonders, especially the good looks. 

Ignorance and ambition make an unprofitable combi- 
nation. There are housekeeperes filling positions to-day 
that have never been taught to do a single useful thing 
correctly; they can not darn the linens, they can not 
sew, they can not upholster a chair, they can not wait 
on the sick, nor can they settle the slightest dispute with- 
out sending for the manager. The housekeeper should 
know how these things are done, in order to impart her 
knowledge to others; for any housekeeper that has any 
respect for her calling considers herself an instructor. 

There is no special hour set for the housekeeper's ap- 

Hotel Housekeeping. 15 

pearance in the morning. It is safe to say that she will 
make a greater "impression" and last longer by rising 
at 6 o'clock. Late rising is one of the rocks on which 
many a housekeeper has been wrecked. 

Cheerfulness and Good Manners. 

Every housekeeper should make the "good morning" 
her bright keynote for the day. She should not say, 
"Hello, Mollie," to a girl named Mary. Though the 
girl may be only a scrub-girl, she knows a breach of et- 
iquette; and a girl that bears the beautiful name of 
Mary does not want it changed to "Mollie." 

A cheerful "good morning" should be the beginning 
of each day, by the housekeeper. It makes everybody 
feel pleasant, and the maids can work faster and easier 
when their hearts are full of pleasantness. 

The successful housekeeper does not win her laurels 
by merely perfecting herself in her work, but also by 
careful study of the lives of others in her charge, and 
how to promote their happiness. 

Getting along with help requires tact, poise, and bal- 
ance. The housekeeper should bestow praise where it is 
due. She may give a gentle pat on the back to some 
faithful employe, and yet keep her dignity. A hard 
task may be made lighter by it, and monotonous labor 
robbed of its weariness. The old and persistent notion 

16 Guide to 

that housekeepers are an irascible tribe — if it was ever 
true — is not true now. 

The question here arises — What qualities of mind and 
heart should a housekeeper possess to be successful ? 

Nobody has discovered a rule — to say nothing of a 
principle — whereby a housekeeper's success may be de- 
termined. It is reasonable to claim that the permanent 
success of any housekeeper lies in her skill and in the 
confidence and esteem of her employer. She has learned 
that skill is acquired by serving an apprenticeship, and 
that esteem and confidence are won by character. Ev- 
erybody who touches a sterling character comes at last 
to feel it, and the true hotel man has come to know that 
the housekeeper of skill and character is his friend. 
After the relation of friendship has been established be- 
tween the manager and the housekeeper, a "go-between" 
has no place; to speak plainly, there is no legitimate 
function for a tattler. 

The young housekeeper should not become discour- 
aged, excited, or worried, but learn to "manage." She 
should sit down quietly and think it over. She should 
have a system about her most ordinary duties, and never 
put off till to-morrow what may be done to-day. To- 
morrow may never come, and, if it does come, it will 
bring other duties equally as important. Every field 
of labor has its drawbacks. The greater the work, the 
greater the hindrances and the obstacles seem to be. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 17 

The Housekeeper and the "Help. 

It is a truism that there should be no hostilities be- 
tween the heads of the different departments of a hotel. 
Everything works more smoothly and satisfactorily 
when pleasant relationships exist between the different 
departments of any business. 

A housekeeper feels stronger if she thinks that she is 
of sufficient importance to her employer to have her 
views receive some consideration. She takes up her daily 
tasks with an added sense of responsibility, and with a 
desire to do still better work. 

No housekeeper is perfect. It cannot be wisely as- 
sumed that any housekeeper will possess all the requisite 
qualifications for successful housekeeping, nor can she 
develop them all, no matter how ambitious, industrious, 
and naturally fitted for the work she may be. But 
"Knowledge is power," and she that has the most of 
it, coupled with the greatest ability to utilize it, enjoys 
advantages that will contribute largely to her success. 

18 Guide to 

Keeping a Position. 

A housekeeper studies not only to secure a good situ- 
ation, but also to avoid losing it. "Good enough" is 
not her motto; "the very best" are her constant watch- 
words. Some one has said: "A housekeeper is born, 
not made." The "born housekeeper" is a spasmodic 
housekeeper. As a rule, she is not evenly balanced. A 
housekeeper with plain common sense, susceptible to in- 
structions, willing to obey orders, is the housekeeper 
that leaves the old situation for one of better pay. There 
must be, of course, a foundation on which to build. The 
stones of that foundation should be self-control, self-con- 
fidence, education, neatness in dress, and cleanliness. 
None of these is a gift, but an accomplishment that can 
be developed more or less according to the individual. 

Good manners are very essential. Politeness alone 
will not bring about the desired results in any profes- 
sion, but it has never been known to be a hindrance. 
Manners that will be accepted without criticism in one 
woman, will be odious and objectionable in another. Too 
much familiarity breeds contempt. An employer would 
better be approached with dignity and reserve. 

The Charm of Neatness. 

Few housekeepers realize the charm of the neatly 
dressed woman. The hair should always be neatly ar- 
ranged and not look as if it was about to fall on her 

Hotel Housekeeping. 19 

shoulders. The binding of her skirt should not show 
ragged in places. These are little things, but they weigh 
heavily in the general results. The well-groomed wo- 
man knows that the neglect of these things is full of 
shame to womankind. 

In regard to ''bumping up against" the bell-boys, 
clerks, stewards, and stenographers, the wise house- 
keeper is shrewd enough to " stand in." She "turns 
the other cheek," which may sometimes be a difficult 
task to perform. 

Eemember that no one on earth can ever succeed in 
life and hold a "grudge." The inability to forgive his 
enemies lost James G. Blaine the White House. 

If a bell-boy is caught doing something detrimental 
to the success of the management, the housekeeper should 
write a note to the clerk, or the captain of the watch, and 
inform him of the bell-boy's misdeeds. This will be 
sufficient from the housekeeper. 

On assuming the duties of a new field, the housekeeper 
may remember merely a few important duties; for in- 
stance, she must carefully scrutinize the time-book and 
learn all the maids' names and stations. Next learn the 
location of rooms and become familiarized with every 
piece of furniture in them. Then, step by step, she 
should build up the general cleanliness of the house. 
This is by far the most important of all the requisites 
pertaining to hotel housekeeping. Guarding against 

20 Guide to 

difficulties encountered with the employes and with the 
managers ' wives is secondary. 

A housekeeper that can not take orders is not fit to 
give them; if the manager asks for the removal of an 
offensive employe, the housekeeper should immediately 
get rid of the objectionable person. If the housekeeper 
fails in deference to the manager's wishes, is not that 
good evidence that she is not a good soldier ? She should 
be eager to maintain the dignity of her position — must 
maintain it in fact — and do as high service as possible 
for the management. Yet she can not always carry out 
her own ideas. The manager has his ideas about mat- 
ters, which right or wrong, must be respected. The 
housekeeper carries out the manager's orders. If the 
hotel fails to bring a profit or give satisfaction, the 
manager alone is held accountable. 

About Hiring Help. 
To dismiss a maid is a very easy matter; to obtain a 
substitute that will perform the duties assigned her in 
a manner that will prove more effectual, is not so easy. 
To fire or not to fire, that is the question 
"Whether 'tis easier on the impulse of the moment 
To suffer the terrors and exactions of the haughty 

Or take up arms against their impudence 
And with pen and ink end them. 
To lie, to sleep — 


Hotel Housekeeping. 21 

Worry no more, and by good management to dispatch 

The cares and thousand little details 

Housekeepers are heir to — 'tis a consummation 

Devoutly to be wished. 

The employment-agency is the housekeeper's recruit- 
ing station. She gets most of her help from this place. 
The housekeeper should always consult the manager 
when other help is to be hired. Everyone knows that 
old employes are always best, even if they do spoil the 
new ones. The housekeeper endeavors to keep the help 
as long as she can, using persuasion, kindness, and for- 
bearance, striving to teach them the best and easiest way 
to do their work, bearing with their imperfections, over- 
looking a great deal that is actually repulsive, not ex- 
pecting to find in the hard-working individual the graces 
of a Marie Antoinette, or the inherent qualities of a 
Lady Jane Gray. 

The housekeeper should not only be scrupulously hon- 
est herself, but should insist that the maids be honest. 
It is true that almost irresistible temptations and oppor- 
tunities to steal are constantly thrown in the way of the 
maids; and those that are steadfastly honest deserve 
great credit. 

If a maid is neat and clean in appearance and does her 
work well — these qualities cover a multitude of sins. 
From the standpoint of many housekeepers, too much 
curiosity and gossiping are the chiefest and quickest 

22 Guide to 

causes — next to the neglect of work — for a maid's dis- 
missal. A housekeeper is usually disliked by the maids 
that do not want to do their work, just as a stepmother is 
hated by some stepchildren, regardless of her kindness 
and her consideration for their welfare. Employes in 
any business prefer to take their orders from the person 
that pays them their money. For this, they are not to be 
blamed; but if the proprietor or the proprietor's wife 
wishes to retain the services of a good housekeeper, and 
be relieved of the trying ordel of training the help, he or 
she will not encourage tattling from the housekeeper's 

Hotel Housekeeping. 23 

The Hotel Proprietor's Wife. 

Implicit confidence should exist between the house- 
keeper and the proprietor's wife. This does not mean 
that the proprietor's wife should take the housekeeper 
automobile riding. Any proprietor's wife that enters into 
such a degree of intimacy with any of her husband's 
employes distinctly displays the hallmarks of plebian- 
ism. The writer does not want to become an iconoclast, 
but she believes that all business should be conducted on 
a business basis. There must be an unwavering loyalty 
to the interests mutually represented, at all times and 
under all circumstances. 

The proprietor's wife that goes to the help's dining- 
room or to the laundry, presumably to press a skirt or 
a shirt-waist, but in reality to see what she can see and 
to hear what she can hear, is disloyal to the manage- 
ment. She will always have poured into her ears stories 
that will annoy her and keep her worried. There are 
maids in a hotel always ready to "keep the pot boiling." 
Such a proprietor's wife not only encourages malicious 
slander and tattling, but she will soon be asking ques- 
tions of the inferior help about the housekeeper's man- 

24 Guide to 

agement. Soon the inferiors will be giving the orders 
instead of the housekeeper, and the discipline will be 
spoiled. Besides, the proprietor's wife will be told im- 
aginary wrongs, and exaggerated stories concerning some 
maid employed in the hotel, which will necessitate the 
maid's discharge. Whether the story is real or imagi- 
nary, the proprietor's wife is not benefitted by the 
stories she has heard. She should ask herself: Is this 
loyalty? Isn't it unmistakably the earmark of com- 
monality ? 

No housekeeper will object to taking orders from the 
proprietor's wife. The progressive housekeeper is always 
polite to her employer's wife, though not to the extent 
of being deceitful. The housekeeper must bear in mind 
that what is of vital importance to the proprietor of a 
hotel is of equal importance to the proprietor's wife. 
The housekeeper tries to work in harmony with them 
both, which means success of the highest order. To do 
this, the housekeeper must retain hier dignity, often 
under the most exasperating circumstances. The pro- 
prietor's wife is privileged to frequent any part of the 
hotel she may choose to, but how must a housekeeper 
feel to see her conversing in the most familiar tones with 
the waitresses and the chambermaids, and to know that 
she is listening to malicious slander of the lowest kind. 
A housekeeper can have no control over the employes 
where the discipline is thus ruined, or where there is so 

Hotel Housekeeping. 25 

much unpleasantness arising from unwise interference 
over trifles, by the proprietor's wife, or from officious 
meddling by the families of the prominent stockhold- 

Tact Can Not be Taught. 

"Bumping up against" the proprietor and propri- 
etor's wife or family is one of the most perplexing prob- 
lems that the housekeeper has to solve. The ability to 
combat with such a problem can not be imparted by 
teaching. It has to exist in the housekeeper herself, in 
the peculiar, individual bent of her nature. No amount 
of preaching and teaching can ever endow a housekeeper 
with the ever ready wit characteristic of the "Irish 
tongue. ' ' 

The savory reply, "0, Mrs. B., you are a dream of 
loveliness!" would be sweet to some ears while to others 
it would be a "harsh discord. " It is impossible to teach 
which ear would or would not be the receptive one. 
Any attempt on the part of the housekeeper to work up 
these qualities, "by rule" would only be a failure 
Even the "Golden Rule" fails sometimes to bring about 
desired results. The better plan, perhaps, for the house- 
keeper to adopt is to live her own life, and not try to 
imitate others. If she tries to be great, she will be 
nothing; if she tries to be plain, simple, and good, she 
may be great. 

26 Guide to 

Character in the Hotel Business. 

There is no royal road to success for the hotel clerk, 
steward, manager, or housekeeper. The hotel business 
is peculiar in many respects; it teaches conspicuously 
the great importance of character. 

There is no ingenious system that the housekeeper may 
adopt to insure her success. Getting into trouble or 
keeping out of it is largely a matter of luck, influenced 
by. the kind of help that she is able to secure. But, first 
and last, her success depends on her character — her own 
energy, industry, intelligence, and moral worth. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 27 

Eoom Inspection. 

When inspecting rooms, the housekeeper will notice 
that the room is completed with the following necessa- 
ries: One bed, one foot blanket. One rocking chair 
and two straight chairs. One writing table and a scrap 
basket. One cuspidor. One dresser. One clothes tree 
or wardrobe. One ice water pitcher and two glasses on 
a tray. If there is no bathroom, or stationary hot and 
cold water, there must be a commode, a wash bowl and 
pitcher, soap dish and clean soap. One slop jar, one 
chamber. Four face towels. If there is a bathroom, 
one bath mat and toilet paper in the holder. One small 
mirror. One cake of bath soap and two bath towels 
are needed. On the dresser in every guest room should 
be a box of safety matches and a candle. Candles are 
so cheap, and candle holders may be purchased for a 
trifle, which will answer the purpose as well as silver. 
No one who has lived in hotels but knows how annoying 
it is to be left in total darkness for half an hour, on ac- 

28 Guide to 

count of a burned out fuse, when they are dressing for 
the theatre and in a hurry to complete their toilet. 

The clerk in the office with the room rack in front of 
him has no conception of the rooms except that they are 
in perfect order. Perfect order does not only mean that 
the bed is neatly made, the floor clean and all the furni- 
ture dusted; soap, towels, matches, candles and glasses 
in their places, but everything must be in perfect work- 
ing order. Let the housekeeper's inspection begin then 
with the door. The lock must be in order, and the key 
work properly. It is embarrassing to the clerk to have 
to listen of a morning to such complaints as "my door 
would not lock, and I was compelled to push the dresser 
in front of it to insure safety." But this "kick" is 
often heard in first-class houses. The transoms next 
should receive attention — see if they will open and close. 
Next the electric lights; they must all be in order and 
burn brightly. The dresser drawers must move readily, 
and be perfectly clean. The windows must be carefully 
examined to see if they open and close easily, and they 
must have no broken cords. A housekeeper's intelligent 
attentions to these details will greatly aid the clerk in 
prompt service to the guests, and will insure to the hotel 
the service that will be its own best advertisement. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 29 

Gossip Between Employes. 

There are only two classes in a hotel among its em- 
ployes; one class is quite perfect and pure as angels, 
while the others are black sheep and altogether unspeak- 
able. There is no transition, no intermediate links, no 
shading of light or dark. A hotel employe is either good 
or bad, and this rigid rule applies not only to moral 
character, but intellectual excellence also is measured by 
the same standard. In a large hotel of, say 250 em- 
ployes, everybody seems to know everybody and every- 
thing about everybody. Everybody knows that he is 
watched, and gossip, both in the best and worst sense of 
the word, rules supreme. Gossip is, in fact, public opin- 
ion, with all its good and all its bad features. Still, the 
result is that no one can afford to lose caste, and every- 
body behaves as well as he can. The private life of hotel 
employes is almost blameless. The great evils of society 
do not exist; now and then a black sheep gets in, but 
his or her life soon becomes a burden, everybody knows 
what has happened and the employes, being on a whole 

30 Guide to 

so blameless, are all the more merciless on the sinners, 
whether their sins are great or small. 

What most impresses one in hotels is the loyalty 
among employes. No one tells them what to do or what 
to say, or what not to say, or what not to do, yet yon will 
observe that one who professes to be your friend will 
not say unfriendly things behind your back. This con- 
dition is noticeable among those of inferior rank, as well 
as among managers, stewards, clerks and housekeepers. 
As a rule, one table in the main dining room is reserved 
for the officers, clerks, stewards, cashiers, bookkeepers, 
checkers, stenographers and housekeepers. Most of them 
have been taught a few rules of life wisdom by their 
seniors. At any rate, few of them are seen with 
their elbows on the table. They are observant enough 
of social forms to eat pie with a fork, and their teaspoon 
is always in the saucer; they eat slowly and take time 
to triturate. There is always one "wit" to make one 
sorry when the meal is ended. Many hotel employes 
possess intellectual powers to a great degree. Many 
clerks are college graduates. The housekeeper is not, as 
some have said usually a member of the broken down 
aristocracy, some one who has seen better days, whose 
duty it is to walk through the halls with a "persimmon" 
countenance, in search of the evildoer; never was a state- 
ment more false. Hotels employ a house detective to 
look after its morals. A housekeeper is more apt to be 

Hotel Housekeeping. 31 

an assistant, who has been promoted to the very respons- 
ible position of housekeeper. 

Relationship Between Housekeeper and Women Patrons. 

A simple acquaintance is the most desirable footing 
with all persons, however desiring. The unlicensed free- 
dom that usually attends familiarity affords but too 
ample scope for the indulgence of selfish and mercenary 
motives on the part of the women patrons. It would 
be safe to say that the housekeeper owes to all women 
patrons the courtesy and consideration due one woman 
from another. It has been said that woman's inhuman- 
ity to woman makes countless millions mourn. But 
this condition is happily fading away; within the last 
decade women have been improving in manners and 
morals toward each other. The housekeeper should take 
the initiative, consider the "roof as an introduction" 
and assume a kindly interest in the welfare of the wo- 
men guests. 

Politeness is the sweetner of human society and gives 
a charm to everything said and done. But a housekeeper 
may be called on to sacrifice her duty to her employer. 
In this case she must not let any weak desire of pleasing 
guests make her recede one jot from any point that 
reason and prudence have bid her pursue. 

Birds of Passage. 
One of the most striking conditions in modern hotel 

32 Guide to 

life is that few hotels retain their heads of departments 
any great length of time, while the inferior working 
class remains in one hotel for many years, and often for 
a lifetime. This significant state becomes more marked 
from year to year, and the question arises: What has 
brought about such a changed condition? The travel- 
ing public surely is gratified to see a familiar face be- 
hind the desk, in the housekeeping department, and also 
in the dining-room. In days past, clerks, stewards, and 
housekeepers, were identified with the same hotel until 
a retirement from all active life would see them replaced 
by others. But of late they seem to have earned the 
title, " birds of passage." 

Temperament creates the atmosphere of your sur- 
roundings, and if you would remain in a fixed place, 
you should cultivate the respect of all, and, if possible, 
their love, also. A nervous man or woman speaks in 
haste and uses a sharp tone of voice over mere trifles, 
which, to an ignorant mind, may have a tendency to 
create dislike, causing results that may prove distinct 
barriers to his or her success as a manager or house- 
keeper, whereas a placid man or woman could bring 
about the same result with gentler tones, thereby pre- 
venting useless friction and hatred. 

Directing and Commanding. 
Heads of hotel departments should cultivate their 
talents for directing and commanding. Politeness, 

Hotel Housekeeping. 33 

which belongs to all persons of good breeding and is es- 
sential in the ordinary transactions of life, is so min- 
utely cultivated by the heads of hotel departments as to 
be conspicuous in its absence; some are not even civil, 
which is the very least that one person can be to another. 
I do not mean to infer that an employe is to be for- 
given if he gets intoxicated and is late to his work every 
morning, nor that a sneak, a thief, or an agitator should 
be excused. To handle help on the forgiving plan in 
such cases, employers would become sentimental reform- 
ers and the worst kind of failures. Sentiment may be 
comforting, but it is silly when employed in business, 
under these conditions. Those that desire may practice 
forgiveness, but when it costs time and money and 
brings gray hairs to those that are doing the forgiving, 
it is better to keep as near the line of sternness as possible. 
Everyone employing labor should be very careful of 
his manner in expressing his disapproval of the actions 
of subordinates. A reprimand should never be made in 
anger. If a grave offense has been committed, repri- 
manding should be done with great coolness and reserve, 
if you would look to future events and their probable 
consequences. Impertinent and forward people may be 
checked by cold reserve. Often the faculties for trans- 
acting business and the talents for directing and rep- 
rimanding are considered by fond admireres to be the 

34 Guide to 

gift of nature, when, in reality, they are the outcome 
of self-control and (education. 

Chesterfield says : "If you are in authority and have 
a right to command, your commands delivered in sauvi- 
ter in modo will be willingly, cheerfully, and, conse- 
quently, well obeyed." 

Attention to Details. 

Hotel housekeeping is a science. The crowning excel- 
lence, as all acknowledge, lies in giving strict attention 
to small things. Successful hotel-keeping is an artistic 
achievement in which everything is in its right place, is 
of the proper grade> shade, quality, and cleanliness, har- 
monizing in every particular. 

Details are repulsive to the lazy or the listless. Let 
the housekeeper feel the greatness of her position and 
the importance of her duties, if she so desires to succeed. 
Enthusiasm is an element that can least be spared — one 
that must accompany the housekeeper at every step. 

The question has arisen whether the housekeeper 
should learn without rules, by blundering experience, or 
should she take what the approved experience of others 
has found to be the best. No one doubts the answer. 
The true way is to submit to rules and regulations and 
methods of experienced and practical hotel housekeep- 
ers that have made their profession a lifelong study. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 35 

The Progressive Housekeeper. 

The ocean is an everchanging wonder of kaleidoscopic 
views and no eye ever wearies of its beauty. The earth 
arrays herself in snch gorgeous costumes so pleasing to 
man's sight that few there are who want to leave her to 
try another. The child tires of the old ragdoll and cries 
for the ' ' Teddy bear. ' ' Put a new dress on the old rag- 
doll and it will again become the favorite. 

If a housekeeper is not progressive, her employer will 
tire of her. The onward trick of nature is too much for 
the average housekeeper, and gladly would she anchor, 
but to do so means to sink. She must keep up with the 
times, she must travel the pace of progress. 

There is nothing new under the sun, but there is con- 
stant metamorphosis. Time brings changes. Competi- 
tion is strong and housekeepers must be on the alert for 
any accomplishment that will aid in their calling. 

In America, life is a universal race for exalted posi- 
tions. Then get out of the rut and keep up the long list 
of illusions, of which a rapid succession of changes and 
moods and styles and ideas is the secret. 

36 Guide to 

You must keep busy. There is only one sin that you 
can commit; that sin is idleness. Polish the old things 
and make them look like new. Do not let your footsteps 
become so narrow that they will end in a turkey-track. 
Keep up your practice of thoroughly cleaning rooms, 
overhauling furniture, and sending out a mattress now 
and then to have it repaired. Take up a carpet and 
have it cleaned. Give the radiators a coat of bronze. 
Have the ceiling lights cleaned. Paste up the wall-pa- 
per that is hanging from the wall. Polish the brass on 
the stairs. Put in an order for some new material of 
which to make dresser covers. 

Decorative Dresser Covers. 

The writer has just completed some very pretty 
dresser covers for the parlor floor rooms, en suite. The 
work is fascinating, and the linen-room girls and parlor- 
maids can lend a hand at making them. Any kind of 
linen material can be adapted that can be laundered 
with ease and success. Plain white linen is a well-de- 
served favorite and makes thoroughly useful, as well as 
fashionable, dresser-covers. A cheaper material can be 
found in linen toweling — just as pretty and just as dur- 
able as the plain white linen. 

The dresser cover just covering the dresser and not al- 
lowed to hang down is the favorite mode just now. It 
can be simply hemmed; but a charming and more at- 

Hotel Housekeeping. 37 

tractive pattern is with scalloped edges and elaborated 
ends. These scallops are made with a spool, medium 
size, No 50 being especially suitable. Put the spool on 
the edge of the material and with a lead pencil, draw 
a crescent and then another, clear across the end. Pad 
the scallops with common white darning-cotton, using 
the old fashioned chain-stitch. Before putting the work 
in the embroidery-hoops, sew a strip of muslin, about 
six inches in width to the edge of the dresser cover. 
This will aid in getting the work placed in the hoops and 
will enable you to do smoother and more satisfactory 

Embroider the scallops with linen embroidery floss, 
size "D," using the buttonhole stitch. An eyelet at the 
termination and just above each crescent will add ma- 
terially to its effectiveness. Rip off the muslin and 
launder before cutting out the scallops. This will pre- 
vent the ugly fringe seen on so many embroidered 

38 Guide to 

The Housekeeper's Salary. 

Too many housekeepers of the present day neglect the 
small things. They want to draw large salaries and let 
the house take cai^ of itself, while they visit with the 
guests and gossip and have a good time. The clerks are 
kind and do not report to the manager the little com- 
plaints that come to the office every day ; but the house- 
keeper 's conscience should tell her that she is not earn- 
ing her money. 

The housekeeper that is above her profession, is not 
interested in her work, and that is trying to get into 
some church society, had better not engage in hotel 
housekeeping, for her housekeeping duties will require 
her constant attention at the hotel. There will be some 
difficulties to settle at all times, which will require her 
presence. Maids work better when they are conscious 
of a vigilant overseer. They take more pride in their 
work when they know that every nook and corner is 
being inspected by the housekeeper. Especially is this 
true if the housekeeper is successful in commanding the 
respect of her subordinates. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 39 

The housekeeper that lays the blame of some grave 
mistake on her assistants is not worthy of the name of 
housekeeper. Had she been there, attending to her af- 
fairs, it would not have happened, for she would have 
prevented or stopped it. 

The housekeeper, by diligence, attendance to her du- 
ties, and by economies, figures greatly in the success of 
a hotel, and makes her own position. The position does 
not make her. Then it is fairly reasonable to suppose 
that such a housekeeper should make her own salary; 
that she should command and receive her price ; that she 
should be paid according to the amount she is really 
worth, and not the fixed scale that the hotel pays. If 
a housekeeper can show by her books, by her manage- 
ment, and by her economies, that she is worth more than 
her predecessor, she is entitled to more pay, and by all 
means should receive more pay. The avereage salary 
paid a housekeeper is not enough to properly clothe a 
housekeeper. After her laundry bills are paid, what 
has she left to lay up for the " rainy day," to say noth- 
ing of an old age, when parsimony and incompatibility 
of temper and "set ways" make her, in any place, an 
unwelcome personage. 

The Faithful, Efficient Housekeeper. 

The housekeeper that sticks to her post and is always 
looking after her work is surely worth more to her em- 

40 Guide to 

ployer than one that has worn the carpet theadbare in 
front of her mirror, or one that puts in a great portion 
of her time at the bargain-counter, or the theater, or 
with a novel in her hand. Surely, the hard-working 
housekeeper, the one that makes her occupation a study 
and is always at her post, is worth more to her em- 
ployer than the housekeeper that is trying to do society 
" stunts,'' to ring in with people of fashion, to "out- 
dress" them. But the majority of hotels pay much the 
same salaries to housekeepers, good, bad, and indiffer- 

The progressive housekeeper that thus looks after her 
employer's business every day, always at her post in the 
linen-room, is uncomplaining, shoulders the blame, and 
is not always knocking on his private-office door and 
entering complaints about this or that, is surely worth 
more than thirty dollars a month to any hotel man. If 
he does not think so, he should not blame the progres- 
sive, faithful, reliable housekeeper, if she promptly ac- 
cepts a position with better pay. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 41 

Inspection and Cleaning of Rooms. 

The housekeeper, or her assistant, should go through 
every room twice a day. In the morning, the house- 
keeper should take the house-plan, inspect every room, 
and check up the rooms that have been occupied. 
If the bed in a room has been used, and if there is bag- 
gage, she should check this also, and should turn the 
report into the office by nine o'clock. Then, in the af- 
ternoon, when the maids are supposed to have finished 
their work, the housekeeper should take her pencil and 
pad and thoroughly inspect every room and the maids' 
work. She may find a ragged sheet or pillow slip; if 
so, she should make a note of it. Some room may be 
short of a towel, soap or matches; she should make a 
note of this also. Around the gas-jets and in the cor- 
ners, she may find "Irish curtains "(cobwebs) ; in the 
commode, she may find a vessel that was forgotten; in 
a dresser drawer, a man may have left his cast-off hose, 
and suspenders. Some maid may have swept the center 
of the room, while under the bed and under the dresser 
there may be dust of two weeks' standing; in another 

42 Guide to 

room, the housekeeper may find a bathtub forgotten — all 
of which she should write on the pad. This work will oc- 
cupy two hours of her time in a two-hundred-room 
house. When the maids come on watch at six o'clock, 
each one should be given instructions to go back and 
finish her work. In some hotels, the maids do not go 
off duty of an afternoon, but continue working until six 
o'clock. In this case, the housekeeper should issue her 
instructions at once. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 43 

How to Clean a Room. 

There are many ways to clean a room, but there is 
just one best way to clean it thoroughly. ' ' Dig out the 
corners" should be the watchword of every successful 
housekeeper. She would rather the maid would leave 
the dirt in a pile in the center of the room than fail to 
clean out the corners. 

If one word could be selected that means the most and 
needs the most emphasis in the science of housekeeping, 
that word would be "cleanliness." The first desidera- 
tum, therefore, of the chambermaid, is the scrub-pail 
and a piece of oilcloth — some maids use a newspaper — 
under it to protect the carpet. The first thing to do 
is to clean the small pieces of furniture. If the furni- 
ture is new, it should be only wiped with the dust-cloth. 
If it is old and marred, it should be washed with warm 
water and soap, and oiled with a good furniture-polish. 
It should then be set in the hall. The dresser drawers 
should be washed and the marble cleaned with sapolio; 
the mirrors should be polished, the windows washed, and 
the shutters dusted. The crockery should be cleaned 

44 Guide to 

and put in the hall. The bed should be covered with 
a dust-cover. The cobwebs should be swept down with 
a long-handled broom. The lace curtains should be 
shaken, and either taken down or pinned up. The closet 
should be swept out. The toilet-bowl should be scrubbed 
inside and out with the toilet-brush, and a disinfectant 
powder put in. The stationary wash-bowl should be 
scrubbed with sapolio, and the faucets polished, not for- 
getting the chain. The bath-tub should also be scrubbed 
with sapolio, and the floor washed. 

The door should now be closed and the sweeping be- 
gun. A very good plan is to scatter wet paper over the 
floor to keep the dust down. The corners should be dug 
out and the dirt swept to the center of the room and 
taken up in the dust-pan. If the carpet is old, it should 
be sponged with warm water and soap, to which a lit- 
tle ammonia has been added. The carpet will look like 
new after this process. After the dust is well settled, 
all the wood work in the room should be washed ; the bed 
and dresser should be washed and oiled, and all the fur- 
niture should be symmetricaly arranged, and the win- 
dows closed on account of storms. 

One chambermaid can successfully look after eighteen 
or twenty rooms a day. Not all of the rooms are occu- 
pied every night. The maid should take advantage of 
the dull days to clean her rooms thoroughly ; she should 
clean one room every day. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 45 

The Importance of Good Beds. 

Competition is great, and success will come to the best 
and cleanest hotel. The traveler loves to slip into a bed 
with perfectly laundered sheets that do not look as if the 
maids had sprinkled, folded, and pressed them between 
the mattress, as chambermaids ordinarily do in hotels 
where there is a scant supply of linen. 

Sometimes the chambermaid will ask the laundryman 
for a pair of sheets to make up a sample-room, as the 
guest wants to receive a customer. The laundryman 
replies: ''Well, just as soon as the machinery starts 
again, you may have them." There has been a break- 
down ; the belt is off ; or something has gone wrong, and 
they have sent for the engineer to fix it. Then the 
housekeeper must go to some unoccupied room and strip 
the bed and use the linen for making up the bed in the 
sample-room, while the guest walks the floor and frets 
over the delay. Much time is saved if the hotel is sup- 
plied with plenty of linen. 

Sheets that cover only two-thirds of the mattress do 
not add to the cheerfulness and comfort of the guests. 

46 Guide to 

Many well grounded complaints are entered about this. 
Special laws have been enacted in some states, within the 
last year, regarding the length of sheets. 

Occasionally a guest finds it expedient to make his bed 
over, if he would have any comfort. The maid has put 
the double fold of the blanket to the top ; it is a warm 
night, yet he fears to throw the blanket off — he might 
take cold. So he concludes to make his own bed, put- 
ting the single fold to the top, that he may throw some 
of it back. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 47 

How a Bed is Made. 

Good bed-making is the one trait par excellence in all 
good chambermaid work. To make a bed artistically is 
one important feature, and to make it so that the guest 
may rest comfortably is another, and, finally, just how 
is the best way to make a bed is a question worthy of 

In our big country of America, the traveler from 
Maine to California sees many styles of bed-making. In 
New Orleans is see nthe picturesque canopy of pure 
white mosquito-netting tucked in neatly all around. In 
Kansas City is seen the snowy spreads plaited half way 
to the foot with numerous little folds. In New York is 
seen the pure linen hemstitched sheets, turned back with 
a single fold. 

To begin to make a bed, first, the mattress should be 
turned. The bottom sheet should then be tucked in 
carefully by raising the mattress with one hand and 
smoothing the sheet down with the other. The large 
hems should always be at the head, in order that no one 
may be compelled to lay his face where some one's feet 

48 Guide to 

have been. After the bottom sheet has been tucked in at 
the head, it should be tightly drawn and tucked in at 
the foot in the same way. Sheets should be long enough 
to tuck in one foot at the head and one at the bottom. 
If it is a brass bed, the sheets should be left to hang 

After the bottom sheet is on perfectly, it is easy to 
make a pretty bed, and one in which the guest may rest 
well. The top sheet should be put on, and tucked in 
at the foot only. The blanket should be put on with the 
single fold at the head. If the guest should get too 
warm, he can throw half of the blanket to the foot and 
yet have sufficient covering. After the spread is put 
on, a single fold as large as your hand should be made, 
then another fold one foot in width should complete the 
folding, and the spread should be neatly tucked in. 
The pillows should now be smoothed evenly and placed 
up aright, and the bed is made. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 49 

How to Clean Walls. 

To clean a painted canvas wall does not require so 
much skill as patience. 

A painted canvas woll is very easily cleaned. Many 
housekeepers have them washed with ivory soap and wa- 
ter, and obmtain good results. Others add a little am- 
monia to the water, and still others use the powdered 

The cost of painted walls are great, and it is a great 
saving to any proprietor, if the housekeeper can suc- 
cessfully clean a painted wall without calling the decor- 

Perhaps the most practical and most economical way 
to do the work and obtain the best results is to wash the 
wall with water, in which has been dissolved a cake of 

To proceed to clean the parlor walls: first, take out 
all the bric-a-brac and tapestry and furniture ; then take 
up the carpet. Have the carpenter erect a scaffolding 
for the house-man to stand on. Have two pails of hot 
water, and in one let a cake of sapolio dissolve. Keep 

50 Guide to 

the other pail of water for rinsing. Have two large 
sponges, one for cleaning and the other for rinsing. 
Souse the cleaning-sponge in the pail in which the sapolio 
has been dissolved, then squeeze the water out of the 
sponge. Then begin on the ceiling or in one corner, 
cleaning only a small square at a time. After cleaning, 
rinse with the sponge from the clean pail, not making 
the sponge too dry. Do not wipe the wall with a cloth, 
but leave moist, after which have ready a pail of starch, 
and with an ordinary paint or white-wash-brush, starch 
the square that you have cleaned, before it is thoroughly 
dry. The starching-process is very necessary. It will 
leave a gloss on the paint, and also preserves it the next 
time it is washed ; for, in this case, it will be the starch 
that will be washed off instead of the paint. To make 
the starch take ordinary laundry starch and dissolve one 
cupful in one pint of cold water. Into this pour boil- 
ing water until it is as thick as cream and let boil, stir- 
ring constantly. 

The following is an excellent preparation for cleaning 
wall-paper, and perhaps it might serve as well to clean 
walls hung with burlap: 

2 pounds of rye flour. 

J pound of wheat flour. 

1 handful of salt. 

Mix well together with water and bake one hour in 

Hotel Housekeeping. 51 

the oven. Then peel and work back into a dough, ad- 
ding \ ounce of ammonia and J ounce of gasoline. 

This is not an expensive preparation and will clean 
papered or burlap walls very nicely. 

Calcimined walls will have to be re-decorated. 

A good way to clean hardwood floors in halls where 
the carpet does not entirely cover the floor, is to take 
a can of linseed oil and a small woolen cloth and dip one 
end of the cloth in the oil, being careful not to spill the 
oil on the carpet, or touch the edge of the carpet while 
cleaning ; this will remove the dust and dirt, after which 
the floor may be polished with ordinary floor-wax put 
on with a flannel cloth and polished with a brick, over 
which has been sewed a piece of brussels carpet. | 

How to Scrub a Floor. 

What is prettier than a hardwood floor after it Has 
been properly scrubbed? To scrub a floor and get sat- 
isfactory results is a science. To change the water fre- 
quently is one secret of success. " Elbow grease" is 
another. Mops are impossible, and this is another sub- 
ject on which the housekeeper can wax eloquent. What 
is more disgusting than to see the baseboards of a room 
smeared, or the dirt shoved in the corners with an old 
dirty mop? 

Before commencing to scrub, place every article of 
furniture on the table and then sweep. Beginning 

52 Guide to 

in the rear of the door so as not to track over the clean 
part until it is perfectly dry, scrub with a brush a 
small section at a time; first wipe up with a damp rag 
and then with a dry one. The New York Knitting 
Mills, of Albany, N. Y., furnish remnants of cloth that 
are indispensable for scrubbing. Enough of these rem- 
nants can be bought for $3 to last six months. 

A little ammonia in the water will help to whiten the 
floors. The modern skewers from the kitchen are very 
useful in getting into the corners of the window sills 
and into the corners of the stairsteps. A weak solu- 
tion of oxalic acid and boiling water will remove the 
very worst kind of ink-stains from the floor. 

Pads for kneeling on are made of burlap, and one is 
given to each scrubber. The unnatural position that 
the scrubber assumes makes the work laborious; the 
scrubber may change her position frequently by getting 
clean water. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 53 

How to Get Eid op Vermin. 

The worst kind of house-pests, if you do not know 
how to get rid of them, but not the easiest to extermi- 
nate, are bedbugs. They do not confine themselves to 
any section of the country, though the International En- 
cyclopedia gives the belief "that up to Shakespeare's 
time they were not known in England," and that "they 
came originally from India." 

In Kansas, the bedbug is improperly called the chintz- 
bug, and is believed to dwell under the bark of the cot- 
ton-wood tree. There is no authentic truth for this be- 

The spread of the bedbug is mainly due to its being 
carried from place to place in furniture and clothing. 
It has the power of resisting great cold and of fasting in- 
definitely. The eggs of the bedbug are very small, 
whitish, oval objects, laid in clusters in the crevices used 
by the bugs for concealment; they hatch in eight days. 
Under favorable conditions and slovenly housekeeping, 
their multiplication is extremely rapid. The greatest 
trouble lies with the housekeeper who allows the bugs to 

54 Guide to 

increase unchecked until they are so numerous in the 
floors and walls that it is nearly impossible to kill them 

It is useless waste of time to try to exterminate with 
Persian insect powder, or sulphur candles. These 
remedies have been recommended by the Interna- 
tional Encyclopedia, but have not demonstrated their 
worth when subjected to tests by careful experimental 
methods, by the author. 

Scientific Way of Extermination. 

The only scientific and practical way to get rid of 
them is to clean thoroughly, religiously, and scrupu- 
lously the room and every article in it. Bedbugs are 
exceedingly difficult to fight, owing both to their ability 
to withstand the action of many insecticides and owing 
also to the protection afforded them by the walls and 
the woodwork of the room. 

If the mattress is old, it should be burned. The bed 
should be taken apart, the slats and springs taken to the 
bathroom and scalded, and then treated with a mixture 
of corrosive sublimate and alcohol, liberally applied, 
after which a coat of varnish should be given to the en- 
tire bed — slats, springs and all. The carpet should be 
taken up and sent to the cleaners. The paper should 
be scraped from the walls and sent to the furnace and 
burned, and the walls should be left bare until the bugs 

Hotel Housekeeping. 55 

are exterminated. The holes in the walls and woodwork 
and the cracks and crevices in the floor should be filled 
up with common yellow soap. This is better than to fill 
them with putty; it is more practical and is easier to 
handle. Use the thumb or an old knife to put the soap 
into the holes; the workman should get the stepladder 
and go over the entire ceiling, getting the soap into 
every crack and crevice. After this is done, it will be 
impossible for the eggs to hatch or the bugs to get out. 
This is the most important part of the extermination of 
bugs. The floor should then be scrubbed, after which it 
should be well poisoned with the mixture of corrosive 
sublimate and alcohol. Every piece of furniture in the 
room should be washed and poisoned, and given a coat 
©f varnish. 

Treating the Mattress. 

If the mattress is too good to be thrown away, the 
following will be found a good method to destroy the 
vermin in it: dissolve two pounds of alum in one gal- 
lon of water; let it remain twenty-four hours until all 
the alum is dissolved. Then, with a whisk-broom, apply 
while boiling hot. This is also a good way to rid the 
walls and ceiling of bugs. Getting on the stepladder, 
the workman should apply the wash with the whisk- 
broom, never missing an inch of the entire ceiling and 
walls, keeping the liquid boilins: hot while using. It 

56 Guide to 

should be poured in all the cracks of the floor, in the cor- 
ners, over the doors and over the windows. The opera- 
tion should be repeated every day for two weeks, after 
which the woodwork should be painted and the walls 

A strict watch should be kept on all the help's rooms, 
and any signs of bugs should be promptly treated with 
the mixture of corrosive sublimate and alcohol. 

Cleanliness a Necessity. 

Cleanliness is a prime factor in ridding rooms of ver- 
min. In many of the hotels there is one woman ap- 
pointed to look after the bugs, and she has no other duty. 

A good night 's sleep is necessary to health and happi- 
ness. It can not be found in a room with vermin. The 
housekeeper should keep up the continual warfare 
against the standing army of bugs, and never allow the 
enemy to take possession. 

Eoaches, or water-bugs, are easily exterminated. 
Hellebore sprinkled on the floor will soon kill them off. 
It is poison. They eat it at night and are killed. Some 
people object to having poison around. In that case, 
powdered borax will prove an expedient eradicator. 

A good way to keep rats from a room is to saturate a 
rag with cayenne pepper and stuff it in the hole; no rat 
or mouse will touch the rag, not if it would open a com- 
munication with a depot of eatables. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 57 

A Nauseating Subject. 

Of all the obnoxious being that get into a hotel, the 
one whose feet smell to the heavens is the worst. Every 
housekeeper in America — heaven bless them — if she has 
a normal and simple mind as fits her calling, finds smell- 
ing feet an intolerable nuisance. 

Health requires at least one bath a day for the feet, 
and when they perspire freely they should be bathed 
twice a day. What must be said of the maid who, on 
entering a room, compels you to leave it on account of 
the sickening odor from her feet. In a case like this, 
the housekeeper must "take the bull by the horns," tell 
the maid that "her feet smell " and that "she must keep 
herself cleaner. " The maid's feelings are not to be spared 
in the performance of this important duty. After wash- 
ing the feet carefully twice a day for a week a cure will 
be effected. Clean hosiery should be put on every day. 
A very good remedy for offensive feet is a few drops of 
muriatic acid in the water when bathing the feet be- 
fore retiring to bed. 

58 Guide to 

The Superiority of Vacuum Cleaning. 

This is an age of surprises and scientific researches. 
The up-to-date vacuum-cleaning machine is a huge debt 
to an ancient past. It is a big improvement over the 
methods employed in days gone by. As a preventive 
for moths, it has no equal. In hotels where this labor- 
saving device has not been installed, carpets must be 
carried to the roof to be cleaned, or sent to the regular 
carpet-cleaners, and soon converted into ravelings. Car- 
pets are very expensive, and, if you want your money's 
worth from them, you must preserve them from moths. 
In order to do this, they must be either vacuum-cleaned 
or taken to the roof every six months and given a beat- 
ing. After the moths get a start in a carpet it is sur- 
prising to learn what vast inroads toward destruction 
they can make in a few weeks. Moving the furniture 
and thoroughly sweeping and brushing the edges with 
turpentine are good preventives. But nothing will so 
effectually destroy them as does the vacuum-clening pro- 

Hotel Housekeeping. 59 

In order to secure detailed information regarding the 
workings of the vacuum-cleaning system for hotels, I 
wrote to a gentleman in Milwaukee, who is probably the 
best informed man on that subject in the country. Be- 
sides being in the vacuum-cleaning business, he is a hotel 
man himself and therefore knows how to meet the needs 
of the hotel housekeeper. I quote a part of his reply: 

System Explained by an Expert. 

' ' The vacuum-cleaning system in a hotel will pay for 
itself every year by reducing the cleaning force and by 
increasing the life of carpets, rugs, hangings, upholstery, 
and decorations, whether paper, fresco, or paint. 

"In hotels where this system is in use — and their 
number is increasing every month — carpets and rugs 
are cleaned on the floor. Right here is a big saving. 
First, taking up and relaying carpets is expensive. 
There is nothing that wears them out quicker than this 
sort of handling and the beating and " tumbling. " Vacu- 
um-cleaning not only saves this, but saves the daily wear 
and tear of grinding in the dirt and wearing off the 
nap with a broom. Third, with the vacuum-sytem, val- 
uable rooms are never put out of commission while the 
carpets and rugs are away being cleaned. 

"Not only are the carpets and rugs kept cleaner by 
the vacuum-system, but everything else is cleaner be- 
cause dust is kept down. The housekeeper of a certain 

60 Guide to 

hotel told the owner that since he put in the vacuum-sys- 
tem, the transoms had to be washed only one-fourth as 
often as before. Now, the dust on those transoms came 
out of the air. It settled everywhere, but it showed 
plainly only on the transoms. With the vacuum-system, 
there is only one-fourth as much dust to settle on the 
walls and decorations, and even that little is quickly re- 
moved with the vacuum-wall-brush. Dust on the walls 
is what causes the unpleasant, musty smell of many hotel 
rooms. Keeping walls clean means less frequent re- 

Purifies Nearly Everything. 

"Upholstered furniture is quickly and thoroughly 
cleaned by the vacuum-method. Dust is removed not 
only from the surface, but also from the folds and creases 
and even the interior of the cushions. Moths and their 
eggs are sucked out from their hiding places under the 
upholstery buttons or in the corners. 

"Mattresses and pillows are kept clean and sweet by 
vacuum-treatment. Passing the cleaning tool over the 
surface prevents dust from accumulationg and sifting 
in. It sucks out the stale dusty air inside and draws in 
fresh air, thus preventing that unpleasant musty smell 
which hotel beds sometimes have. 

"By the vacuum-method, tapestries and hangings are 
kept fresh and bright without the trouble and expense 

Hotel Housekeeping. 61 

of taking them down. One hotel manager told me his 
vacuum-system saved him $10 every time he cleaned the 
hangings in his dining-room, for it used to cost him that 
sum to have them re-draped. 

"By means of a special brush, wood and tile floors 
can he cleaned without the dust of dry sweeping, or the 
muddy aftermarks of sawdust. 

Vacuum Always on Tap. 

"The most and recent important improvement in 
vacuum-cleaning consists in having the vacuum or 'suc- 
tion power' always 'on tap' on every floor. At conveni- 
ent points in the corridors, nickel-plated taps are placed. 
To these, the housemen or maids can quickly attach the 
rubber hose connected with the cleaning-tools. Open- 
ing a valve turns on the suction or vacuum. Then, as 
fast as the tool is moved over the surface to 
be cleaned, dust and dirt are sucked through the 
hose into the pipes and away to an air-tight dust- 
tank in the basement. The 'on tap' vacuum is always 
ready for use. No need to telephone or send word to 
the engineer to start that pump or to stop it when the 
work is done. 

"Although the vacuum, or suction, is kept on tap all 
the time, practically no power is consumed except when 
the cleaning is going on. Even then the amount of 
power used — whether it be steam or electricity — is auto- 

62 Guide to 

matically proportioned to the number and the size of 
the cleaning tools in use. Whenever you lay down the 
sweeper to move a chair, just so much less power is con- 
sumed while the tool is idle. If one sweeper is in use, 
only one-tenth as much power is needed as when ten 
sweepers are working. The little upholstery tuft- 
cleaner consumes only one-ninth as much power as the 
carpet-sweeper. This means a great saving of power 
and is a great improvement over the old vacuum-meth- 
ods, by which it was impossible to keep the vacuum on 
tap and by which, once the apparatus was started, full 
power was consumed, no matter how many sweepers were 
at work." 

Hotel Housekeeping. 63 

The Linen-Room and the Linen-Woman. 

The liiieywoman has in her care all the beautiful and 
expensive linen in the hotel; if she is careless in count- 
ing it when sending it to the different departments,, care- 
less in counting it after it has been returned, there will 
be a deficit in the "stock-report" at the end of the 
month. The linen-room is a position of trust. The lin- 
en-woman should be as accurate in counting her 
employer's napkins and table-cloths as the cashier is in 
counting his employer's dollars. 

The following set of rules and essential requirements 
are suggested for the management of the linen-woman: 

1. She must be prompt to open the linen-room at 
6 :30 a. m. 

2. Must not leave the linen-room without notifying 
the housekeeper. 

3. Must sort the linen. 

4. Must see that no damaged article of linen is sent 
out to the guest-rooms. 

5. Must mend all the linen. 

6. Must keep track of the linen. 

7. Must keep the linen-room books. 

64 Guide to 

8. Must mark the new linen before sending it out. 

The linen-room is the housekeeper's pride. What is 
more pleasing to a housekeeper than to look into a well- 
kept linen-room. This room is the housekeeper's "stock- 
exchange, ' ' the room where all her business transactions 
take place. It is also her home. She has her geraniums 
in the window and her desk in one corner. She has her 
sewing-machine, and telephone, and a bright rug or two 
on the spotless floor. The linen-room is the place where 
the housekeeper is found or her whereabouts made 

The room should be thoroughly cleaned every Satur- 
day, and swept and dusted every day. It requires skill 
and labor to keep a well regulated linen-room looking 
neat and pretty. Linen-shelves are scrubbed, not pa- 
pered. All heavy articles, such as spreads, blankets, pil- 
lows, and table-felts should be kept on the top shelf. 
The water-glasses, ice-water pitchers, extra slop jars, 
washbowls and pitchers, should also be kept on the top 
shelves, and covered with a dust-cover. The other 
shelves should be scrubbed, and the sheets, slips, face- 
towels, and bath-towels used for the guest-rooms, put 
on a shelf by themselves. The helps' linen should be 
put on another shelf. The table-linen should be placed 
by itself, and so on — a place for everything and every- 
thing in its place. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 65 

ow Linen is Mended. 

The table-cloths should be mended first before they 
are sent to the laundry. The best way to mend table- 
linen is first to fill the holes with darning-cotton, just as 
you would if you were darning a stocking; then loosen 
the presser-foot of your sewing-machine and darn it 
down neatly with the machine. If the hole is very large 
— say as large as your hand — the better way is to cover 
the hole with darning-net before filling it in with the 
darning-cotton ; then it may be finished on the machine. 

"When the table-cloths are too bad to mend, the large 
ones can be cut down into small ones and the small ones 
into tray-covers. Old napkins can be sewed together 
and used for cleaning-cloths. Table-linen is very ex- 
pensive and the careful housekeeper will easily save her 
salary above that of a careless one by properly taking 
care of the linen. 

How Coffee Bags Are Made. 

The coffee-bags should be made from the stewards ' 
dictation. No two stewards will have them made the 
same. Bath-towels, when damaged, may be made into 
wash-cloths, and used in the public baths. The cases for 
hot-water bags are made of white flannel. 

A supply of soap, matches, toilet-paper, and sanitary 
powder, should be kept in the linen-room, where it is con- 
venient for the maids. 

The progressive housekeeper will not allow the stock 

66 Guide to 

of linen to grow too small. She will see that it is re- 
plenished each month. 

The linen-room should be opened at 6:30 a. m. and 
closed at 10:00 p. m. If it is a commercial hotel, the 
linen should be portioned among the maids, in the morn- 
ing. The linen issued in the morning should be charged 
to each girl on the slate. The maids should count the 
soiled linen on their floor, pin the count to the bundle, 
and bring it to the linen-room, where the linen-woman 
again should count it and give each maid credit on the 
slate. The linen-woman should deduct the clean linen 
issued in the morning from the soiled linen returned, 
and, if the linen-room owes the maid, she should be given 
her linen at once. After that, the maid should get only 
one piece of clean linen for one of soiled. If the maid 
brings in no soiled linen, she should not get any 
clean. In this way, the linen-woman will be able to 
keep track of the linen. She will be able to tell the man- 
ager where every piece of linen is at any time of the day. 

The dining-room linen should be issued in the same 
way. The linen-woman should be able to tell by her 
books how many napkins are in the dining-room, how 
many are in the laundry, and the number that are on the 
shelf in the linen-room. 

It may not be an innovation, but a blackboard in the 
linen-room will be of great assistance to the housekeeper 
in copying the changes that are sent up from time to 

Hotel Housekeeping. 67 

time during the day. The board may be freshly ruled 
every day, with as many columns as there are maids, 
and the maid's name, or number, should be written 
above her column. 

As the changes are sent up on a pad by the clerks, 
the linen- woman should copy them on the board, put- 
ting each maid's changes under her name. The maids 
should take the chalk and draw a straight line through 
their changes, indicating that the rooms have received 
proper attention. As there are few hotels that have not 
had some trouble about reporting changes, it would be a 
splendid idea for the clerk to insist on the housekeeper 
or the linen-woman signing for the changes. The fact 
that the clerk can produce his duplicate, showing the 
time to the very minute he sent the change, is not proof 
that the change was received in the linen-room. The 
bell-boy may be a new boy, and may have taken the 
change-slip to some other part of the house. But if the 
housekeeper, or the line-woman, signs the pad on which 
the changes have been sent up, and the pad is returned 
to the office, the housekeeper or the linen-woman will 
have to furnish some other excuse for the room being out 
of order, than that she did not get the change. 

The housekeeper should see that an accurate account 
is taken every month of all the linen, and correctly en- 
tered on the linen-room stock-book. This account 
should show the new linen purchased during the month. 


Guide to 

The following form is suggested for the stock-book for 
the linen-room : 

Inventory of Linen-Room for month ending January 1 


Jan. 1, 1908. 

Total No. 
last count 
Dec. 1,1907 





Net Total 











Kitchen-Towels . ■ ■ 



Paradise, indeed, to the housekeeper, is the hotel that 
has its reserve-linen closet, where, in case of accident in 
the laundry, she may find linen to put the rooms in 
order. On the other hand, how very discouraging it is 
where there is only one set of linen for the beds and the 
maids must wait until the linen is back from the laun- 
dry before they can put the rooms in order. In such 
hotels, the housekeeper spends much of her time running 
to and from the laundry. 

When a new linen-woman is installed in the linen- 
room, the housekeeper should write out all the details of 
the duties required of her, regardless of any previous 
experience she may claim to have had. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 69 

Care op Table-Linen. 

A table-cloth should be long enough to hang over the 
table, at least eighteen inches on all sides. Pattern 
cloths are prettier than the piece-linen. They are more 
expensive, but it pays to buy the best for hotel use. 
Linen, to have sufficient body to wear well, should have 
a certain weight to the square inch. Table-linen should 
weigh at least four and one-half ounces to the square 
yard. All pattern-cloths have the napkins to match. 
The napkins and table-cloths should have a tiny, narrow 
hem. They are best hemmed by hand, but this can not 
be thought of for hotels. 

It takes the same amount of money to purchase the 
unbleached linen as it does to buy the bleached. The 
Irish bleached linen is of a more snowy whiteness than 
that of Germany. This is owing to the climate of Ire- 
land, which is particularly adapted by sunshine and rain 
for natural bleaching. 

Table-Linen Most Important. 
The table-linen is more important than the bed-linen, 
and should receive the first consideration in the laundry. 

70 Guide to 

It should be carefully counted and sorted by the linen- 
woman at night, after dinner, and should be ready for the 
laundry-man who must rise very early in the morning 
in order to have the table-linen ready for the laundry- 
maids that come on duty at seven o'clock. 

A table-cloth should be folded lengthwise twice, then 
doubled, putting both ends together, then folded, and it 
will be ready for the shelf. Napkins should be put 
through the mangle three times and left without fold- 
ing, so the linen-woman can easily sort them. 

Removing Stains. 

Fruit-stains in linen may be removed by pouring boil- 
ing water through the stained spot. Lemon juice and 
salt will remove iron-rust. 

Tea, coffee, chocolate, and fruit-stains should be re- 
moved as soon as possible by pouring boiling water over 
them. After fruit-stains have been washed a few times 
in soapsuds, they become as firmly fixed in the linen as 
though they were dyed there, and can only be removed 
by a bleaching procees. A good bleach can be made 
by taking one pint of boiling water to one teaspoonful 
of oxalic acid and one teaspoonful of ammonia. One 
teacupful of ammonia to a wash will keep the table-linen 

The care of the table-linen is a very important feature 
of the housekeeper's work. In many hotels, the house- 

Hotel Housekeeping. 71 

keeper is required to purchase the lineu. Fashion 
changes in table-linen as in other things. A careful 
study of facts and figures has proved that, in proportion 
to the population, the United States of America con- 
sumes more linen than any other country in the world. 
It is not, however, a leader in the production of flax. 
Russia takes the lead in this industry. The United 
States grows flax for the seed and not for the fibre ; hence 
very little weaving is done in this country. 

Kinds of Linen. 

Linen has a variety of names, as Holland, damask, et 
cetera. Damask linen was first made in Damascus — the 
oldest city in the world — and was figured in fruit and 
flowers. A long time ago linen made in Scotland was 
sent to Germany to be bleached ; hence the name Holland. 

The old-time way of bleaching was long and ex- 
pensive, sometimes taking an entire summer. After it 
was bleached by a natural process of open air, dew, and 
sunshine,, it was then treated with an alkaline, and then 
buttermilk. It was left lying on the grass for a month, 
and sprinkled frequently with water and sometimes sour 

At the presen time, linen can be bleached in two 
weeks. The cost of bleaching is much less and linen 
fabric is one-half cheaper than formerly. The chem- 
icals used in the modern process of bleaching greatly 

72 Guide to 

injures the fibre, and linen is not so durable as it was 
under the old-fashioned way of bleaching. 

How to Test Linen. 
The housekeeper in selecting linen at the counter may 
test the linen by ravelling out some of the threads. The 
threads that form the woof as well as the warp should 
be strong, and long thread linen. Never buy linen that 
is stiff and glossy, as it will be thin after it is laundered. 
Linen should be substantial, but pliant when crushed in 
the hand. Never buy a table-cloth that is part linen and 
part cotton, as the shrinkage of linen and cotton fibre 
varies greatly, which causes the threads to break, and 
the table-cloth will soon be full of holes. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 73 

Laundry Work. 

"Order is Heaven's first law," sang the poet, and to 
keep order in a hotel seems not such an Herculean task. 
System makes work easy, and the superintendent of the 
laundry must insist on the work being systematically 

Soap and water are the most important materials used 
in the laundry work. To do good work with little or no 
damage to the linen, soft water and good soap are abso- 
lutely necessary. In many parts of the United States, 
the water is permanently hard, and is a perplexing ques- 
tion to laundry workers. The first thing to do is to 
soften the water. It can not be made soft by boiling, 
and must be treated with chemicals which must be used 
before the soap is added. When soap is used in hard 
water before it has been softened, the soap unites with 
the minerals in the water, and clings to the linen like a 
greasy scum. Borax is the best softening agent for 
hard water. 

To soften water with borax, use one tablespoonful to 
each gallon of water. A tablespoonful of ammonia and 

74 Guide to 

one tablespoonful of turpentine to each washing will 
keep clothes white. Hard water may be softened with 
potash or sal soda, which is much cheaper than borax 
and ammonia, but potash and sal soda are both corrosive 
and very injurious to the linen. Great care must be used 
in softening water with these alkalines. If they are not 
thoroughly dissolved before using in the washer, little 
particles are apt to escape the solvent action of the water 
and stick to the linen and form brown spots which soon 
become holes. 

Good Sowp a Necessity. 

Soap is the next cleaning agent to be considered. You 
can not have pretty, white linen without good soap. A 
good soft soap for use in hotel laundries can be made 
from the refuse fat from the kitchen. This soap will 
effect the cleaning of the hotel bed and table-linen, but 
for bundle-washing, flannels, and prints, a milder soap 
is generally used. A very good soap for washing flan- 
nels and prints may be made from the pieces of soap 
that are collected from the rooms. 

How linen is laundered and to be able to give a scien- 
tific reason for each step are the very first things a 
housekeeper should learn. No housekeeper is worthy 
of the title if she is unskilled in laundry tactics. Yet 
how few housekeepers there are that could give even a 
recipe for making bleach, to say nothing of the most 

Hotel Housekeeping. 75 

effective way to use it so as to cause the least injury to 
the fabric? Few housekeepers know little or anything 
of the benefits of the scientific researches that have been 
made to render laundering easy. 

The linen must be carefully sorted and counted in 
the line-room by the linen-woman. In hotels where the 
houseman gathers the linen from the different floors and 
carries it direct to the laundry, the laundryman has been 
known to dump it in the washer without sorting it. This 
is the source of many a lost pillow, blanket, nightshirt, 
and even pocketbooks and jewelry. Guests often put their 
valuables under the pilow or in the pillowslip and for- 
get them. These valuables sometimes escape the cham- 
bermaid's eyes in her haste to strip the beds. Some- 
times a new waiter in the dining-room will use a nap- 
kin to wipe his tray; these greatly soiled napkins 
should be rinsed out before they are put in the washer. 

Why the Hotel Laundry Work is Discolored. 

Is it any wonder that the sheets and table-linen soon 
get that brown color? All the soft water in the king- 
dom will not bring about the desired results if the linen 
is not carefully sorted. The napkins should be put in 
one pile, those that are badly soiled with mustard or 
gravy in another pile, and the table-cloths in another. 
Napkins and table-cloths that are stained with tea, cof- 
fee, chocolate, or fruit, should be laid aside and boiling 

76 Guide to 

water should be poured through the stains before they 
come in contact with soap, as the soap will help to set the 
stains permanently. 

The laundryman should rise early and have the first 
washing from the extractor before the laundrygirls make 
their appearance, which is usually at seven o 'clock. 

The table-linen should receive the first attention. It 
is the least soiled, the most expensive, and it may be 
needed before the bed-linen. The napkins and table- 
cloths should not remain long after they are shaken out. 
They will have a finer gloss if they are mangled immedi- 
ately after being taken from the extractor. 

One reason that linen gets that dirty brown color is be- 
cause it has not been properly rinsed before adding the 
blueing. The soap should be thoroughly rinsed from the 
linen before the blueing is put in the washer. How many 
hotel laundries send the linen to the linen-room damp 
and steaming and smelling of soap? Is it any wonder 
that the linen is soon full of holes and worn out? 

Two tablespoonfuls of kerosene in a washing will 
greatly aid in cleansing, though more soap must be used 
in this case. 

In many laundries, there is not sufficient help. There 
should be at least two girls employed to shake out and 
two at the mangles, in a 200-room house. Where there 
is bundle-washing it will require even more help than 

Hotel Housekeeping. 77 

The kitchen-linen should be washed by hand on the 
board and not put in the washer. 

The housekeeper should be allowed plenty of help to 
properly do the work. 

Bleaching Linens, 

When clothes have become yellow by the use of im- 
pure water or any other cause, the snowy whiteness must 
be restored by a bleaching process. Chloride of lime 
and oxalic acid are powerful agents, and, if not quickly 
removed from the fabric, they will corrode and do much 
injury to the linen. Turpentine has some power a's a 
bleacher as also has borax. Blueing will aid in keeping 
the clothes white, but do not use too much. There are 
a variety of blueings to be had. The indigo blue is 
the best. 

Starch will greatly aid in keeping clothes clean. It 
is made mostly from rice, wheat, corn, or potatoes. Only 
a little starch should be used with delicate fabrics. They 
should be no stiffer than when they are new. The starch 
should be completely dissolved in cold water before ad- 
ding the boiling water. Stir the starch constantly while 
the boiling water is being poured in. A few things 
may be put in to give a gloss, and to make the iron 
run smooth; among them are paraffine, lard, kerosene, 
and gum arabic. 

How to Iron. 
Before commencing to iron, have ready a bowl of water 

78 Guide to 

and a cloth for smoothing wrinkles and rubbing away 
any soot or spots that may get on the garment. Have 
a piece of paraffine tied in a cloth to rub over the iron, 
and a knife for scraping any starch from the iron that 
may stick to it in the process of ironing. 

Put much weight on the iron and do not raise it from 
the garment but move it quickly over the surface. When 
a wrinkle is made, dampen it again with a wet cloth and 
smooth again with the iron. Always iron in a good 
light so that scorching may be avoided. A garment 
should be ironed quickly; otherwise it will dry out and 
much time will be wasted in going over it with the damp 
cloth and changing the irons. 

In ironing a white duck skirt, stretch it in shape 
quickly while it is damp and iron it into shape, else it 
will be long here and short there. When ironing a ruf- 
fled skirt, always iron the bottom ruffle first and turn it 
back while ironing the others. Iron around hooks and 
eyes and not over them. Never iron a crease in a gar- 
ment unless it is necessary. A crease will mar the ef- 
fect of the garment and also cause the threads to break 
sooner, thereby making holes. 

Recipe for Making Bleach. 

An inexpensive recipe for making a good bleach to be 
used every day will be found in the following: 

Fill a clean barrel half full of boiling water and put 
into it ten pounds of chloride of lime and stir until well 

Hotel Housekeeping. 79 

dissolved. Dissolve ten pounds of caustic soda in boil- 
ing water and stir in the barrel. Fill the barrel with 
boiling water and stir. Let it settle and skim the lit- 
tle white particles from the surface, as these are what 
rot the clothes. Use one gallon of the bleach in a wash- 

Although laundering is one of the last kinds of work 
to receive the benefits of scientific research, much effort 
has recently been made to present easy and effective 
ways of laundering. The "how" and "why" has been 
learned. It is no difficulty for the housekeeper to hire 
a laundryman and to install him in his work with the 
words : ' ' This is the laundry ; you will meet with many 
difficulties in your line, but you must work out your own 

How Curtains are Washed and Mended. 

Take down the lace curtains that you are going to 
wash and shake them well so as to get all of the dust 
from them. Put them in cold water to soak. Then 
wash by hand in warm suds, to which has been added 
one teaspoonful of ammonia. Do not rub them, 
squeeze dry and rinse through two waters. Do not 
blue them. If they are of an ecru shade, put a little 
coffee in the water and they will look like new. Starch 
and stretch loosely on the curtain frames while they are 
wet. The holes can be drawn together while on the bars 

80 Guide to 

so they will never be noticed after they are dry, and it is 
a far better way to mend curtains than darning them on 
the machine after they have dried. Cream-colored cur- 
tains may be washed in the same way. Colored 
madras and silk curtains can be cleansed in gasoline. 
Great care must be taken, as gasoline is explosive. The 
curtains should be taken to the bathroom, and the door 
should be bolted and kept bolted until the curtains are 
cleaned and the gasoline is washed down the sewer. 
The curtains are then taken to the roof and aired for 
half a day. 

Embroidered and lace-trimmed pieces should be taken 
from the line while only half dry and immediately 
ironed, to secure the best result. To raise the embroid- 
ery, iron on the wrong side over several layers of flan- 
nel covered with a sheet of old linen. 

Never iron lace with the point of the iron, if you 
would have it look like new. Pull and pat it into place, 
picking out the loops with a hairpin, or with a pointless 
darning-needle or bodkin. Dampen it with a wet cloth 
and press with the reverse iron, using its "heel" only. 

When ironing circular centerpieces and table-cloths, 
see that the iron moves with the straight grain of the 
cloth. If this method is followed, the circular edge will 
take its true line. Guard against ironing on the bias or 
on a curve, lest the linen stretch hopelessly out of shape. 
Never fold a piece of this character after ironing it. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 81 

The Housekeeper's Rules. 

If the management does not provide the housekeeper 
with rules, she is safe in formulating the following: 

1. Maids must report for duty at 7 :00 a. m. 

2. Maids must lock all doors when leaving rooms. 

3. No maid is allowed to transfer chairs or furniture 
from one room to another by order of the guests, unless 
they have an order from the office. 

4. Maids must report at once any articles which are 
misplaced or taken from the rooms. 

5. Keep all soiled linen in closets. 

6. Maids must not leave any article of soiled linen 
lying in the halls. 

7. Maids must not leave their brooms, feather 
dusters, dust-cloths, or sweepers, in the halls at any 
time during the day. 

8. Any article found in the rooms must be brought 
to the linen-room, with the number of the room and date 
when found. 

9. All keys found left in rooms and doors must be 
sent to the office. 

82 Guide to 

10. When a tray of dishes is left in a room, the maid 
must ring for a bell-boy and have him notify the he&'d- 
waiter or report it to the housekeeper who will tele- 
phone the headwaiter. 

11. All ink, paper, and pens left in the rooms must 
be put in the wire ink and stationery-receiver. 

12. The watch-girls must report at 6 p. m. and re- 
main until 1.0 p. m. or later, if required. 

13. All torn blankets and spreads must be brought 
to the linen-room for repairs. 

14. Maids must not receive men friends in their 

15. The housekeeper will relieve the linen-woman 
while she goes to her meals. 


1. Maids must report at 8 a. m. and remain until I p. 

2. Watch-girls must report for duty at 1 p. m. and 
remain until 9 p. m. 

All of these rules can not be, at all times, strictly en- 
forced by the housekeeper. She will make such modifi- 
cations as are made necessary by circumstances. But 
rules she must have, and she must insist on their being 

Hotel Housekeeping. 83 

The Parlor Maid. 

Excepting the linen-room position, that of parlor maid 
is the most desirable situation that the hotel housekeeper 
can offer a girl. The wages are usually better than those 
of a chambermaid, and her work is not near so laborious. 
At all times, the parlor-maid is neatly dressed, suave, 
serene, and courteous. A quiet and unobtrusive man- 
ner is absolutely essential. She needs to take many steps 
during the day, and thus youth and a slender figure are 
the first qualities in one who wishes to make a success of 
the position. She meets people of wealth and refinement 
and the ultra fastidious, hence her position is a re- 
sponsible one and requires a dignified appearance and 
demeanor. She must have self-respect and must claim 
the respect of others. None of the moralities must be 
omitted nor must she forget the daily bath, clean un- 
derwear, and clean hosiery every day. The morning is 
the time for the parlor-maid to do the cleaning, and she 
should wear about her work a washable dress of percale 
or dimity, with a white apron. In the afternoon and 

84 Guide to 

evening, this should be exchanged for a black skirt, white 
waist, and white apron. 

Where Work Is Diversified. 

she is expected to render quite diversified services. Pier 
duties vary with the mode of life of those by whom she 
is employed. She will scarcely be called on to do all 
the work that is herein enumerated; but the success of 
any hotel employe is largely due to the number of things 
he or she is able to do well. A parlor-maid may raise 
her occupation to a level with that of millinery or dress- 
making. There is room at the top of the ladder for the 
expert parlor-maid just the same as there is for any 
other person in any other calling. 

In the small hotels, the parlor-maid usually cares for 
the proprietor's private apartments. In addition to 
these, a suite next to the parlor may be given her to 
keep in order. She can easily look after these rooms 
where she has only one parlor. The cleaning of the 
ladies' toilet-room and reception-hall and the ladies' en- 
trance-stairs usually falls to the parlor-maid. She must 
look after the writing-rooms, do the high dusting, clean 
the tiles, clean the mirrors, polish the brass trays, clean 
the cuspidors, wash the lace curtains, and sweep and 
dust. In washing windows and mirrors, she should use 
warm water to which a little ammonia has been added. 
She should not use soap, as the grease in the soap makes 

Hotel Housekeeping. 85 

the polishing difficult. Wipe with a dry cotton cloth 
and polish with a chamois skin. 

Keeping Parlor in Order. 
As the parlor must always be in readiness for the re- 
ception of guests, it is thoroughly cleaned early in the 
morning. Once a week is often enough for a thorough 
cleaning. Monday is the best day for it. The furni- 
ture is moved into the hallway or into one corner of the 
parlor, the parlor is swept and dusted and every article 
replaced before breakfast. On week days, the corners 
are dug out with a whisk-broom and the dirt taken up 
with the sweeper. The parlor is dusted frequently and 
the cuspidors washed at least four times a day. She 
should wash the cuspidors inside and out, using soap 
and water; then wipe with a dry cloth. Leave a little 
clean water in the cupidors, as this will make the ves- 
sels easier to clean next time. 

Cleaning Brass Trays. 

If the brass trays under the cuspidors are very badly 
stained, the stains may be easily removed with a solution 
of vinegar and salt, to which has been added a little flour. 
Have the mixture boiling hot ; rub the tray with the mix- 
ture with a flannel cloth, then wash the tray with hot wa- 
ter and wipe dry with a cloth. After this, it may be 
polished wit ha good mineral paste or some of the special 

86 Guide to 

preparations made for the purpose, using a flannel cloth 
for polishing. 

The high dusting is done with a long handled broom. 
Tie a bag made of cotton flannel over the broom and 
brush the walls downward. Brush the dust off the cor- 
nice and over the doors and windows. Then, using a 
clean cheesecloth duster, go over the doors, window sills, 
mantles, and furniture, changing the soiled dust-cloth 
frequently for a clean one. The housekeeper must see 
that the parlor-maid is supplied with plenty of clean 

The Maid's Many Duties. 

If the fireplace is finished with tile, the parlor-maid 
should wash these with soap and water. She should 
polish the brass and replace it. The curtains and silk 
draperies should be taken down and hung in the open 
air and brushed with a whisk-broom. The rugs should 
be rolled up and the houseman should take them to a flat 
roof where they should be laid flat and swept. They 
should not be whipped or beaten, as "whipping" will 
ruin an expensive rug. When sweeping the stairs of 
the ladies' entrance, the parlor-maid should use the 
whisk-broom and dust-pan. The ladies' toilet-room re- 
quires some care to keep it always neat and clean. After 
sweeping the floor and dusting the doors, the bowls 
should be washed inside and out with the toilet-brush 

Hotel Housekeeping. 87 

and a disinfectant put in. The stationary wash-basins 
should be scrubbed with sapolio and the faucets pol- 
ished. There should be kept always on hand clean tow- 
els and soap, a comb and brush, a box of face-powder — 
the English prepared chalk is the best for toilet-rooms. 
The public baths on the parlor floor come under the par- 
lor-maid's charge. She should keep the tubs and the 
floor clean, and see that soap and towels are supplied. 

The writing rooms should be cleaned before break- 
fast. The sweeping should be done the first thing in the 
morning. The desks should be supplied with fresh pen 
points, paper and ink once a day. The waste paper 
baskets should be emptied as often as is necessary, and 
the cuspidors should be cleaned at least four times a 

Keeps Assembly -Room in Order. 
It is usually the parlor maid's duty to take care of 
the casino, more familiarly called the assembly-hall. The 
cosino floor requires very careful cleaning. No scrub- 
bing or sweeping with ordinary brooms is permissible 
on a polished hardwood floor. It should be carefully 
swept with a bristle broom and the dust taken up on the 
dust-pan. The floor should then be dusted with a 
broom, over which has been tied the cotton-flannel bag 
made for the purpose. If there are any spots on the 
floor, they will have to be washed up, but this will take 

88 Guide to 

off the polish; therefore, it must be restored by the 
weighted brush or weighted box with brussels carpet 
tacked on the bottom of it. The original polish is re- 
stored by pulling the box back and forth over the floor. 
A housekeeper will make a sad mistake if she attempts 
to scrub the ballroom floor. 

Waxing the Balroom Floor. 

In most every hotel, it is left to the housekeeper to 
wax the ballroom floor before the opening of the "hop." 
The wax is sprinkled over the floor. 

In very large hotels in large cities where there are 
three or four public parlors, and where three or four 
parlor-maids are employed, their work is confined to the 
parlors. The parlor-maid waits on th© ladies, helps 
them on and off with their wraps, and caters to their 
comfort both physically and mentally; keeps the parlor 
clean, and does many little acts which go to make a 
great big hotel seem like home. 

The Card and Wine-Rooms. 
No drinks are served in the public parlors, public 
halls, or cosy-corners. The wine-rooms are usually kept 
in order by the parlor-maid. The bar-porter should 
come for the bottles and remove the dishes. The parlor- 
maid should sweep and dust the wine rooms and wipe the 
tables, if they are polished wood. If they are ordinary 

Hotel Housekeeping. 89 

dining-room tables, she should put clean table-cloths on 
them twice a day. The wine-rooms are usually named for 
the cities: Chic&'go, New York, Binghampton, Cincin- 
nati, St. Louis, Denver, and New Orleans. 

The card-rooms are kept in order by the parlor-maid. 
There is seldom much furniture in a card-room, only 
chairs and tables. Sweeping and dusting once a day 
and a clean cover for the table is all that is required. 

To make a muslin cover for a poker-table, take a piece 
of muslin and cut it round to fit the table, allowing six 
inches to hang down. Run a casing on the edge of it, 
with a bias piece two inches wide. Run in the casing, 
a drawing-string of common wrapping-twine. The 
drawing-string must be as long as the muslin is around 
so it will not have to be removed when laundered. After 
it is laundered, put it on the table and pull the drawing- 
string, and tie under the table. 

In small hotels where the parlor-maid is called on to 
perform all of these manifold duties, she is assisted by 
the houseman. 

90 Guide to 

About Chambermaids. 

Some person that does not know anything about the 
life of a chambermaid will tell you that the "chamber- 
maid has no protection, no morality., and is without the 
influence of a fixed place or home atmosphere ; ' ' finally, 
that "chamber-work is the most degrading occupation 
a girl can engage in!" 

If a girl is not capable of a higher calling, why should 
not she make beds in a hotel when there is such a crying 
need from the hotel managers for conscientious and 
painstaking work? It is not every girl that Providence 
has blessed with a prima donna's voice. Not every girl 
can be admitted on the vaudeville stage. Not all have 
had kind and wealthy parents to send them through col- 
lege and fit them for the higher attainments. 

Chambermaid Can Take Care of Self. 

The proprietor is ever ready to protect the maids from 
undue familiarity from the male patrons of the hotel. 
This is seldom necessary. The average maid meets an 

Hotel Housekeeping. 91 

incivility with a cold disdain that puts to rout a second 
attempt. Men that wreck women's lives &a*e found out- 
side of hotels. 

Religion a Factor. 

It is am undisputed fact that the Irish- American Cath- 
olic girls make the best chambermaids. The comfort 
found in the Catholic religion compensates for the loss 
of home ties. She is without any danger signal save her 
own conscience, yet there does not exist on the face of 
the earth a more moral class of girls than the Irish- 
American Catholic chambermaids in the hotels of the 
United States. 

She goes at her work determined to use her experience 
as a stepping-stone to something higher. She encounters 
many pitfalls. She ma'kes a few mistakes, but during 
her stay in Yankeeland she has learned President Roose- 
velt 's maxim: "The man who never makes any mis- 
takes is the man who never does anything. " She is con- 
soled by it, and from her pitfalls learns a lesson that en- 
ables her to avoid making the same mistakes in the fu- 

Not a Bad Day's Program. 
At the Grand Union Hotel in New York City, and in 
hotels in other cities in New York state, the writer has 
learned from observation that the social side of the 

92 Guide to 

chambermaid's life is a pleasant one. She begins the 
day at 7 :15 and quits at 4:00, except the night she is on 
watch. She is given a ten o'clock lunch; she has one 
hour for dinner, and at 2:30 she is given fifteen min- 
utes for a cup of tea. The night she is on watch, she is 
served with a good dinner of chicken and all the good 
things the hotel affords. She has every third Sunday 
off and may follow her own will. She has time to cul- 
tivate acquaintances, and attend to her religious duties. 

Christmas Time. 
There is kindness and courtesy existing among the 
maids. When Christmas day draws near, the festivities 
are looked forward to with eager anticipation. Mysteri- 
ous-looking bundles are coming in and going out. 
Friends are remembered. The father and mother, brother 
and sister over the water are not forgotten ; and likewise 
the maids are not forgotten by their employer. The 
dining-hall is wreathed in holly, the table is loaded with 
all the season's delicacies. Trade is dull in the hotel, 
and the time is given over to enjoyment. 

Chambermaids at Their Best. 

There are evening parties in the "help's hall." The 

weekly "tips" or any "stray coins" are invested in 

sugar and butter, and "fondant" is made that would 

melt in your mouth. Then there is the "taffy-pull," the 

Hotel Housekeeping. 93 

cups of tea, and the "fortunes told," over the cups. The 
jokes go round, the merry laughter resounds and gets 
so loud that the house-keeper, who has retired, rises, and 
hastens to put a stop to the noise. Arriving on the 
scene, she has not the heart to reprove them. Herein she 
tastes an old joy of girlhood. It is Christmas. She slips 
back to her own room said into bed again. The airs of 
"Killamey" and "The Wearing of the Green " die 
away, and the house is quiet. 

94 Guide to 

Miscellaneous Subjects. 

The housekeeper should furnish the houseman with a 
synopsis of his duties every morning. 

In addition to this, he has, of course, his regular duties 
— sweeping halls, dusting, cleaning cuspidors, washing 
windows, hanging curtains, moving furniture, laying 
carpets, and cleaning lights. Sweeping roofs and keep- 
ing gutters clean fall to his share also. Fortunate in- 
deed is the housekeeper that can have a houseman for 
each floor. A skull cap and an over-all suit would be ap- 
propriate apparel for the houseman. 

Any defective plumbing in bathrooms should be 
promptly reported by the housekeeper. Sometimes a 
guest will justly complain that the faucet in the bath- 
tub is out of order, and the water trickling all night 
keeps him awake. 

A tray under the ice-water pitcher will save the table 
or dresser. 

The soul of the housekeeper faints within her when a 

Hotel Housekeeping. 95 

guest complains that he has been given a room reserved 
for "plain drunks." He calls attention to the fact 
that the carpet is patched in thirteen places, and at 
least as many patches of paper are in evidence on the 

The sweepers require special care. The maids should 
bring them to the linen room once a month where they 
are oiled. Never empty the sweeper by pulling the pan 
down, as this breaks the spring, causing the pan to drop 
lower than the brush, and the sweeper fails to pick up 
the dirt. A Bissell sweeper in the hands of a skillful 
maid will last three years. 

Season for Repotting House-Plants. 

September is the season for repotting house-plants. 
As flowers are such important factors of civilization 
speaking to us of nature's God, it is surprising that 
more plants are not seen in hotels, and that more pro- 
prietors do not adopt this ingenious plan of beautifying 
their dining-rooms and corridors, using palms instead 
of those cheap artificial roses which are so conspicu- 
ous in third-rate hotels. 

The stately palm lends an air of refinement that noth- 
ing else can give. The greatest obstacle to the growth 

96 Guide to 

of house-plants is dust. The palms, azaleas, and rub- 
ber plants may be sponged occasionaly to keep them 
clean and healthy. Other plants may be taken to the 
bath-room and given a shower-bath. In the summer 
time, two or three times a week is often enough for wa- 
tering the house-plants. In winter, once a week is suffi- 

Hotel Housekeeping. 97 

Why Hotel Employees Fail to Rise. 

The reasons why some people never rise above com- 
monplace positions should be made clear to all that seek 
employment or better conditions. In every field, there 
are those that never take the initiative, and they make 
up the great majority. They are apparently afraid of 
doing too much work, or of making themselves generally 
useful, or of doing some bit of work that has not been 
assigned them, for which they might not be paid, for- 
getting that the world's greatest prizes are generally 
bestowed on the individual who does the right thing 
without being told. 

If we wait to be told our duties, we cease to be moral 
agents and are mere machines, and, as such, stationary 
in place and pay. 

If you would succeed, cultivate self-confidence, which 
is one of the foundation stones of success. Eest assured 
your employer knows the difference between "bluff " and 
the real thing. " Nerve' ' will not win in the long run. 

98 Guide to 

It may accomplish temporary advantage, but there must 
be something back of " nerve.' ' 

Practice self-control. If you can not control yourself, 
you can not control others. When the commander riding 
in front of his army takes to the woods in the face of 
the enemy, he can only expect his troops to follow his ex- 
ample. Anger is an unbecoming mood. In serenity, 
lies power. 

Keep busy. Improve each moment. Do not be afraid 
of too much work. The office-boy that sits around 
watching the clock, as if he might be waiting for his 
automobile to take him home, will never own the hotel. 

The superintendent that has not enough patience to 
instruct properly a beginner may lose valuable assistants 
and can not hope to achieve a great enterprise. 

Do not become discouraged and resign your position 
because it is not up to your ideal. It may be better to 
bear with the ills you have than fly to others you know 
not of. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 99 

Suggestions in Case op Fire. 

It is hard to tell a housekeeper what to do or what not 
to do in case of fire. No two hotels are alike, and no 
two fires occnr in the same way. Circumstances are to 
be considered first. Much depends on the location and 
the progress of the fire, and whether it is night or day. 
It is an old maxim "that fire is a good servant but a 
hard master." Shakespeare wrote: "A little fire is 
quickly trodden out, which, being suffered, rivers can- 
not quench." It is bad policy to delay sending in the 
alarm to the fire department. Many persons put off 
this important duty until it is too late. They reason 
that it might alarm the guests and cause a panic and 
that they will be drowned out. Thus they battle with 
the flames with the incomplete fire apparatus belong ing 
to the hotel, refusing the petition to turn in an alarm to 
the fire department until the fire has gained such head- 
was that it is impossible for even the skilled firemen to 
put it out. Thereby jeopardizing the lives of the hotel 
guests and also the lives of the firemen. No gen- 


100 Guide to 

eral in command of an army, no hero in battle deserves 
more praise than do these courageous men who hourly 
risk their lives to save lives and the property of others. 
Minutes count for something in a fire. The fire depart- 
ment can quickly and quietly put out a small fire, and 
the guests of the hotel may never know that a fire has 
occurred until it is all over. Panics usually follow 
when the people are face to face with the flames, and 
not at the sight of the fire department in front 
of the hotel. To a sensible mind, the fire engine and 
firemen should bring a feeling of safety. A feeling that 
if the hotel is on fire, the fire will soon be extinguished. 
Keep cool; don't run, and don't talk or give orders in 
an excited tone. Should a fire occur in a single room, 
close the door of that room to prevtn the flames from 
spreading, and go to the nearest fire hose rack, and at- 
tach the hose to the plug and take the nozzle end to the 
door of the room in which the fire is started, then go 
back and turn on the water. If the water is turned on 
before the hose has been carried it will make the hose 
too heavy for one person to carry, especially if you have 
to climb a stairway or go any great distance ; a fire hose 
when full of water is very heavy. The housekeeper 
should never desert the hotel in case of fire. She has in 
her possession keys to all doors. She is familiar with 
the location of windows and fire escapes, and the loca- 
tion of the fire extinguishers and axes. She knows the 

Hotel Housekeeping. 101 

position of all stairways, particularly the top landing 
and scuttle to the roof. She knows where all fire proof 
doors are located, where the water pails are kept and 
she can render the firemen great service in directing 
them to a more advantageous position. All doors should 
be unlocked so that the firemen can have free access 
without breaking them in and causing delay. The 
doors, however, should be kept closed to prevent 
the fire spreading. The rapidity with which a 
building is consumed by flames is due to the wind and 
the draughts from stairways, open doors and windows 
and elevator shafts. The walls of elevator shafts and 
all vertical openings should be built of non-combustible 
material, such as brick and mortar and all elevators 
should be equipped with automatic traps. In case of 
a fire on the first floor, the automatic trap would fall 
when a certain degree of heat was reached and thus pre- 
vent the fire from reaching the second floor, and the 
progress of the fire would be delayed. 

All fire hose should be tested every six months. A 
leak may have caused the hose to become worthless. All 
hose should be attached to the fire plug at all times and 
the little wrench for turning on the water should be tied 
to the rack where the hose is kept. All these essentials 
should be examined and carefully scrutinized by every 
housekeeper and chambermaid. A fire can make great 
progress while some inexperienced person is fumbling 

102 Guide to 

with and trying to attach the hose and turn on the wa- 
ter. There should be a red light in the hall in front of 
the fire escape window; a red light can be seen better 
than a white one. The view of the fire escape window 
should never be obstructed by any kind of a curtain. 

All hotels should have a stand pipe, it will reduce the 
rate of insurance one-third. 

Although few people know how to escape down a rope 
fire-escape, every room in the hotel should be equipped 
with one. All fire departments should have a life net; 
dropping into a life-net is not so hazardous as sliding 
down a rope when one is ignorant of the proper way to 
do it. The life nets are made of woven rope with 
springs, and are 10 feet in diameter. The firemen hold 
this net and persons dropping into it can be saved. 

The Kirker Bender spiral tube fire-escape is the best 
and safest. In one minute 200 persons can slide 
through the Kirker Bender, to absolute safety. It is a 
very expensive fire escape, but expense should not be 
considered when building fire-escapes. There should 
be a fire-alarm box in every hall. Should a fire occur, 
an a floor where there is no fire-alarm box, a messenger 
would have to be dispatched to the office before the fire 
company could be notified. Some hotels have no fire- 
box at all. The fire-box being located a block away 
from the hotel. Fire-boxes can be put in hotels with 
very little expense. It is an old saying — ''An ounce of 

Hotel Housekeeping. 103 

prevention is worth a pound of cure." This is espe- 
cially true in the case of fire prevention. If the fol- 
lowing precautions are taken, fires from accident or 
spontaneous combustion seldom occur. 

Fire Prevention. 

Keep your hotel clean and never allow rubbish, such 
as paper, rags, cobwebs, old clothing and boxes to ac- 
cumulate in closets and unused rooms. Don't allow 
coal oil lamps to be used by women patrons for the pur- 
pose of heating curling irons. Never put up gas brack- 
ets so they can be swung against door casings or im- 
mediately under curtains. Never keep matches in any 
but metal or earthen safes. Never keep old woolen rags 
that have been used in oiling and cleaning furniture, 
or waxing floors, unless in a tin can with a tin lid. 

Origin of Fires. 

Fires are the results of accidents, of spontaneous com- 
bustion, and of design. If they have been accidental, 
the cause can generally be discovered, and it will be 
found, that they might have been prevented. Carless- 
ness and negligence are the cause of over two-thirds of 
all fires. 

Electrical fires are caused from electric light wires 

104 Guide to 

lying against wood or iron, or coming in contact with, 
water. A stream of water thrown on a heavily 
charged electric light wire will give a shock and may 
even kill the fireman holding the nozzle. This is one 
reason why the electric lights are cut off when a fire is 
raging and thus leaving people to grope their way out 
through, darkness. All hotels should have hall-ways 
lighted by gas, and especially should a gas light with a 
red globe be placed in front of all fire escape windows. 

Should a fire occur at night the housekeeper should give 
orders to have all doors unlocked and the gas lighted in 
the halls. 

Hotel Housekeeping. 105 

The Evolution of the Housekeeper. 

The greatest wonder to my mind is that more women 
that must of necessity earn their livelihood, do not adopt 
the profession of hotel housekeeping. "What nicer or more 
profitable way can a woman earn her living. Standing 
at my window of a stormy morning, I seem any women 
going early through the wind and snow, sometimes rain, 
to their work, and I can not help comparing my daily 
tasks to theirs. Many of these women stand all day be- 
hind the counters of some large dry-goods store, where 
they are designated only as No. 1, No. 2, and so on. 
Some of the women are going to work in silk mills, where 
the looms keep up a deafening roar, and where, at their 
noon hour, they must eat a cold lunch. These women 
get a small salary, on an average $8.00 a week, and out 
of this they must pay their room, board and laundry 

I could not refrain from contrasting the hotel house- 
keeper's position with that of other women-workers in 
cities. The housekeeper has a good, warm room, clean 
bed, hot and cold bath, and the best eating that the hotel 

106 Guide to 

affords. She may command the respect of all other em- 
ployes in the house, and may make many life-long 
friends. My advice to any young woman seeking a sit- 
uation is to start right at chamberwork, to keep her wits 
sharp, and her head on her shoulders. To be sure, there 
are many temptations, all of which the average girl 
should be able to resist. But a chambermaid with a 
modest and reticent disposition may never meet with any 
pitfalls, at least, no more than would be encountered 
in a drygoods store or factory. From chambermaid, she 
may get promoted to the linen-room, where she will be 
shielded and protected from interlopers, and will have 
plenty of leisure to sew or to mend for her own benefit. 
She can save money, for she will have better pay in 
the linen-room. She will also have better food, and 
will learn something of the executive management of the 
hotel. Naturally, she will see more of the proprietor or 
the manager, and will learn his ideas and principles, 
which knowledge may be useful to her in later years. 
Time brings about many changes, and hotels change 
proprietors, as well as housekeepers and managers. 
Often, when a new manager makes his appearance, he 
will bring his housekeeper or linen-room woman with 
him; in this case, the linen-room woman may have to 
secure another situation. Now is her chance to take a 
step higher on the ladder, by obtaining a position as 


Assembly Hall 87 

Attention to Details 34 

Birds of Passage 32-33 

Character in The Hotel Business 26 

Cleaning Rooms 41-44 

Card and Wine Rooms 88 

Cleaning Brass 85 

Chambermaids 90 

Evolution of the Housekeeper 104-105 

Fires, Suggestions in case of 98 

Fire Prevention 102 

Fires, origin of 103 

Gossip between employes 29-30 

Housekeeper and the Help 17-22 

Housekeeper's salary 38-40 

Housekeeper, progressive 35-37 

Housekeeper's Rules 81 

Housekeeper, relationship between guests 31 

Housekeeper, requirements of 11-20 

Housekeeper, and co-operation 17-22 

How to Make Beds 47-48 

How to Clean Walls 49-51 

How to Scrub a Floor 51-52 

How to Get Rid of Vermin 53-57 

Linen Room, Linen Woman * 63-68 

Linen, table, care of 69-70 

108 Index. 

Linen, removing stains 70 

Linen, best kind 71 

Linen, how to test 72 

Laundry, making bleach 73-80 

Miscellaneous subjects 94 

Parlor Maid 83-90 

Proprietor's Wife 23-25 

Room Inspection 21-28 

Vacuum Cleaning System 58-62 

Waxing Ballroom Floor SS 

16 1308